SCG worker ‘smuggled’ in derby flare

A contract worker on the SCG redevelopment has been sacked for allegedly smuggling a flare into Allianz Stadium hours before the weekend’s A-League derby.
Nanjing Night Net

For 90 minutes on Saturday evening, Allianz Stadium vibrated amid the noise and colour of 40,388 passionate fans who turned the venue into a sea of blue, red and black. But it was the orange tinge of two flares lit inside the Western Sydney Wanderers’ supporters bay that caught the eye of authorities.

Police and security had searched the stadium before the match for any banned objects but still two flares were let off during the game in the south end of the venue, which was occupied by Wanderers’ fans, along with several ”bungers” – small fireworks that give off a loud sound.

Security officers were later shocked to find that a supporter working at the SCG had allegedly misused his position to bypass authorities. A private building contractor had his employment terminated on Monday after allegedly sneaking inside and hiding a flare inside piping beneath seats reserved for the Wanderers supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc.

It is understood the man was picked up during a review of CCTV footage by the SCG Trust security unit. He is alleged to have accessed the south end of the stadium in the hours before the match, using his position as a third-party contractor to gain entrance and hide the flare.

Stadium security were alerted to the man’s suspicious behaviour because employees contracted to work on the upgrade of the stands at the SCG are not permitted to stray away from the construction site. It is understood the man was sacked immediately after his employer was notified by the authorities. He may face other legal repercussions.

Football Federation Australia was notified of the incident but is waiting to see if there are any further findings before deciding what action it might take.

”We’re not not in a position to comment because this alleged incident is subject to legal proceedings,” an FFA spokesman said.

SCG Trust officials took a vigilant stance against those who lit flares at the Sydney derby after a crowd safety officer suffered burns to his hand while trying to defuse a flare inside the ground. It is understood the safety officer was attempting to retrieve a flare lit inside a section occupied by Wanderers supporters but it fell onto his arm after a member of the crowd kicked it along the ground. He was treated for burns at the venue but was not hospitalised. There is no suggestion that the two incidents were linked.

The venue management was also angry that many seats were destroyed in the south end of the ground, especially after they had been forced to replace seats destroyed by fans in the Wanderers supporter end following the A-League grand final in April.

An NSW Police spokeswoman confirmed there were three flares lit in total, with two of them ignited at the same time inside the Wanderers supporter bay and another outside the ground after the game. Police said that despite the isolated cases of flares or fireworks, the crowd was generally well behaved – only a few fans were ejected, mostly for issues relating to intoxication.

“For a crowd of more than 40,000, we were pleased to see most spectators enjoy the game safely,” she said. ”Unfortunately, there were a small number of people who overdid it and were promptly ejected from the match.

“We will be working with FFA to ensure those who were dealt with … receive their banning notice – along with fines or court attendance notice – so they can’t spoil another game this season.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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