FFA fine Wanderers $20,000 over 'highly offensive' banner

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The governing body paid tribute to Western Sydney's swift action to ban those responsible for the homophobic banner at the Sydney derby

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has fined Western Sydney Wanderers $20,000 but declined to dock the club points for the "unauthorised and highly offensive banner" at last week's Sydney derby.

FFA confirmed on Thursday that the Wanderers have been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after members of the Red and Black Bloc (RBB) raised a homophobic and graphic tifo portraying Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold engaged in oral sex.

The $20,000 fine was decided upon based on the A-League club's response to the banner, such as identifying and banning 14 members of the RBB for 18 months.

WSW ban 14 RBB members

FFA confirmed that group of 14 will also be "put through" the FFA Banning Process.

"The actions of the Western Sydney Wanderers spectators responsible for displaying the banner and the ensuing celebration of the banner on social media were completely unacceptable," Head of A-League Greg O'Rourke said in a statement. 

"While we have noted and were pleased with the positive proactive measures undertaken by the Western Sydney Wanderers the fine reflects the fact clubs are responsible for the actions of their spectators and managing the approval of the game day banners and activities of their active fan groups."

RBB slam FFA's response to banner

But for the second time this season, FFA decided against triggering the suspended penalty hanging over Western Sydney.

The Wanderers were first given a three-point suspended points deduction in February 2016 after the club's fans lit flares and detonators in a match against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium that left the venue covered in smoke.

The points deduction was meant to come into effect for any similar major incident involving Wanderers fans.

FFA extend Wanderers' suspended points deduction

But FFA has avoided that option following both last season's grand final at Adelaide Oval and this season's Round 1 derby at ANZ Stadium when numerous flares were lit in the areas occupied by Western Sydney's active supporters.

After the derby on October 8, FFA decided to extend the suspended penalty until the end of the 2016-17 season.

 

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