Jets Squadron helps police find louts

SQUADRON president Tim Verschelden said yesterday that he would help the authorities identify the Newcastle Jets fans who caused the ugly scenes at Saturday’s F3 derby at Bluetongue Stadium.

Up to 13 people, believed to be Jets fans, were ejected and seven more were refused entry and flares were let off inside and outside the Gosford venue.

Groups of Jets and Mariners fans were also captured on YouTube chanting obscenities and attempting to incite each other after the game.

Football Federation Australia is investigating the behaviour of fans and could hand out five-year bans from A-League games to the supporters who let off flares.

A spokesman for the FFA said yesterday that the result of the investigation could be known today.

‘‘We do a lot of work with venues, venue security and local police, so it’s not a simple matter,’’ he said.

‘‘When these matters go from being, with the case of the flares, a football matter to a criminal or civil matter, then we’ve got to be careful we don’t pre-empt anything that the police might want to do.’’

Yesterday many visitors to the Herald website were critical of the Jets supporter group, the Squadron.

Verschelden has denied any of the offenders were Squadron members and condemned their actions.

He went further yesterday, saying he and other senior Squadron members would assist the FFA, Jets and police in identifying the unruly supporters.

‘‘I’ve got nothing to hide,’’ Verschelden said.

‘‘In our role, that’s what we need to do.

‘‘Us senior Squadron blokes will always help any authorities in anything around us.

‘‘We will always make sure we help find out who the culprits are that do these terrible things and make sure we get to the bottom of it.’’

Verschelden said the Squadron also took precautions to prevent trouble at F3 derby matches at Bluetongue Stadium.

This involved speaking to ground security and police days before the game and senior Squadron members addressing fans before and during the game about behaving appropriately.

He said the Squadron controlled its membership to keep out troublemakers.

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