Fans barred from watching football match for fear of ethnic fan violence

April 27, 2009 02:57


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Fear of ethnic fan violence forced football officials to hold a match between two teams in a near-empty stadium, with most spectators locked out and trying to watch from a nearby street. The New South Wales Premier League ordered that the match between Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sydney United be an invitation-only event Sunday in a bid to prevent fan violence between Serbians and Croatians - the heated club rivalry goes back 45 years. Police and a heavy security presence ensured only accredited Bonnyrigg club members and private box holders at the Bonnyrigg Sports Centre were allowed to attend. Parents, partners and relatives of the players were barred. The match ended 1-1.

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