FFA sees red over Jets fans

FOOTBALL Federation Australia is investigating the behaviour of several Jets fans after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to local rivals the Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium.

The F3 derby produced ugly scenes late in the match. Jets fans fought among themselves, lit a flare and threw drinks at Mariners substitute Troy Hearfield, a former Jets player, while he was taking a corner.

The Mariners match report said 13 people, believed to be Jets fans, were ejected and seven more were refused entry.

A video posted on YouTube titled ‘‘F3 Derby – Squadron Novocastria’’ shows Jets fans with flares, chanting obscenities on their way to the ground and confronting Mariners fans on the street after the game.

FFA said yesterday that it was examining TV and other video footage to identify unruly fans.

‘‘Incidents have been brought to our attention of what appeared to be Jets supporters, but it’s hard to make that generalisation,’’ an FFA spokesman said.

‘‘We’re certainly conducting an investigation into an incident that involved a flare and one that involved objects, which I think were drinks, being thrown.’’

At the start of the season all A-League clubs agreed to a five-year ban for any fan found lighting a flare during a match.

Jets CEO Robbie Middleby said in a statement last night: ‘‘We are looking into it and will assist the FFA in any way we can.’’

Tim Verschelden, president of the Squadron, said none of the offenders were members of the Jets supporter group and he condemned their behaviour.

‘‘This behaviour happens at every Coast away game,’’ he said.

‘‘These blokes that carry on like this claim to be part of the Squadron, but they aren’t.

‘‘They’re only ring-in blokes when they want to be to get on the piss with their mates in Gosford and cause some trouble.

‘‘In no way do we condone the actions that took place on Saturday night.’’

Verschelden said the fans had tarnished the Squadron’s reputation.

‘‘After all the good stuff we’ve been doing in recent seasons, and especially this year, this is the last thing we needed from the Squadron’s perspective because now the fans of Newcastle are second-guessing us,’’ he said.

The Squadron ‘‘self-policed’’ at away games, which included speaking to ground security before the match.

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