Melbourne football team fans with strong Albanian supporters are NOT allowed to watch their team play with heavy Serbian support for fear of violence
- The North Sunshine Eagles have a strong Albanian following
- The Springvale White Eagles count many Serbs among their fans
- North Sunshine supporters were banned from the match between the two
Victorian police will be on the lookout for trouble if an attack is imminent Melbourne Football game after supporters of one team were banned from attending over fears the game could end in violence.
North Sunshine Eagles fans – who have a strong Albanian fan base – were suspended for the game against the Springvale White Eagles, who count many Serbs among their supporters.
The two European countries have a difficult relationship due to a series of historical incidents and political disputes, and a football match between the two national teams was canceled in 2016 after infighting between players and fans.
North Sunshine Eagles fans (pictured) are barred from attending their next game for fear of violence
Football Victoria and the two clubs agreed on the ban this week and a Victoria Police spokesman said officers would attend Friday night’s game at Keysborough in far south-east Melbourne.
North Sunshine coach Ben Isai said he was disappointed by the drastic move.
“It’s sad that these games are classified as high risk because I understand the political side of it and all those things, but at the end of the day we’re trying to play football,” he said Herald Sun.
“There’s nothing wrong with a large crowd that’s passionate about their team, as long as it’s contained — which is 98 percent of the time.”
The Springvale White Eagles (in red and blue) have a large Serbian fan base and authorities fear they may clash with North Sunshine’s Albanian fans
Isai added that fans of other clubs in the National Premier League 3 competition have been guilty of misconduct this season.
The publication reported that Springvale fans were given a temporary suspension while police investigated claims of a post-game brawl between them and Melbourne Victory fans.