FFA Board ratifies new Fan Banning Procedure

Football Federation CEO David Gallop.
FFA Board ratifies new Fan Banning Procedure Play Video
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The Board of Football Federation Australia (FFA) meeting in Sydney today has formally ratified a new Fan Banning Procedure.

The new procedure will become part of FFA’s regulations covering the Hyundai A-League and other FFA events and cover four important changes:

  • FFA has introduced a “Notice of Intention to Ban” process, giving persons facing a ban the opportunity to make a submission and provide evidence to FFA for consideration before FFA makes its decision to impose a ban.
  • As part of the new procedure, FFA will provide access to evidence that it is legally allowed to disclose to the person.  Where it is unable to provide access to the evidence FFA will provide a description and the legal impediment will be identified.  FFA will continue to work with police, venues and other third parties to break down the legal barriers that exist to providing access. This may include the ability to disclose evidence to a qualified legal practitioner with appropriate undertakings.
  • FFA has introduced the right for banned persons to appeal FFA’s decision to issue a ban to a three-person Football Independent Banning Appeals Committee (FIBAC) consisting of a pool of 12 prominent barristers and legal practitioners. It will be chaired by His Honour Judge Rauf Soulio of the District Court of South Australia, who is the former chairman of the Australian Multicultural Council, an arbitrator in the international Court of Arbitration for Sport and retiring President of Football Federation South Australia.
  • The 198 persons who are currently banned, will be able to apply to have their case reviewed by the FIBAC if they dispute that they engaged in the conduct for which they were banned.

The Chairman of FFA, Steven Lowy AM, said the review was a thorough and disciplined process that was completed by the deadline set in December last year under the Chairmanship of FFA Director, Mr Chris Nikou, supported by FFA senior management.

“We were determined not to make a knee-jerk response to this complex issue,” he said.

“Extensive consultations were held with stakeholders, including fan groups, clubs, State Federations, stadia managers and State police forces.

“The result will provide a more comprehensive process to those facing bans because of anti-social behaviour and delivers on the commitment made by FFA in its meeting with fan groups in December last year.

“At the same time it underscores the paramount duty of FFA to provide a safe environment for all true football fans and maintains our policy of zero tolerance for anti-social behaviour.”

FFA CEO David Gallop AM said the new procedure was a good outcome for football in this country.

“It shows if we all work together we can ensure the unique passion and atmosphere at football matches is celebrated and preserved for all true football fans as we strive to grow our game,” Gallop said.

“This new procedure allows a person facing a ban the opportunity to put forward their case at no cost before the ban is imposed, greater access to evidence where legally possible and the right to appeal a ban to an independent appeal committee.

“In developing a new procedure, we have maintained our firm stance on safety at football matches. Our paramount responsibility is to ensure that every fan that goes to a game can enjoy a safe environment.

“Our policy of zero-tolerance towards anti-social behaviour has not changed.”

The review also recommends greater communication between all stakeholders, especially clubs, fan groups and venue operators and FFA is committed to developing this further.

In tandem with the new Fan Banning Procedure, FFA’s review covered other related matters, particularly in relation to flares and associated devices.

This review recommends a coordinated effort from all stakeholders, especially clubs, fan groups and venue operators to implement a range of measures that will include an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of flares and will consider penalties for clubs whose fans light flares and associated devices.

“The last week has highlighted that the small number of troublemakers who discharge flares and associated devices, and those who are accessories to that behaviour, pose a threat to safety and our goal to grow the game,” Gallop said. “FFA, clubs and true football fans have been united in their disdain.

“FFA is committed to ridding the game of these people who masquerade as fans while lighting flares and other devices. We will also be implementing a national campaign that will clearly illustrate the danger flares pose to people at football matches and will consider penalties for clubs whose fans take part in this illegal behaviour.”

Information relating to the new Banning Process and the Review of Football Spectator Banning and Related Matters is available by logging onto http://ffaus.co/National-Banning-Regulations

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL BANNING PROCEDURE – KEY CHANGES

PRE 16 FEBRUARY 2016

FROM 16 FEBRUARY 2016

               N/A

  1. FFA publishes National Banning Regulations, Table of Prohibited Conduct and minimum Banning periods
  1. Incident occurs

2. Incident occurs

  1. Banning Report/Recommendation prepared based on evidence collected from Police, Venues, Clubs and other third parties.

3. Banning Report/Recommendation prepared based on evidence collected from Police, Venues, Clubs and other third parties.

  1. FFA Security Committee meets to consider report and determine whether to impose ban

4. FFA Security Committee meets to consider report and determine whether to issue Notice of Intention to Ban

4. Where applicable, ban served

5. Notice of Intention to Ban sent to person identifying the alleged conduct, the proposed length of Ban (having regard to the Table of Prohibited Conduct and minimum Banning periods) and information regarding the process to follow if the person intends to contest the imposition and/or length of the ban.  Notice of Intention to Ban also provided to the person’s Hyundai A-League Club (if applicable).

NB: Ban imposed on person with no opportunity to review evidence or make a submission before it is imposed or appeal the Ban or the period of the Ban after it is imposed, other than limited ability to prove not guilty of the conduct

6. Person has opportunity to contest the imposition and/or length of the proposed ban 

 

7. If the person contests the proposed ban, the person is provided with an opportunity to access the evidence which FFA relied upon to issue the Notice of Intention to Ban, except such evidence which FFA cannot legally disclose or is not authorised by a third party to be disclosed.

 

8. Person submits any written material, submissions, documents or other evidence to FFA on either the imposition and/or length of the proposed ban

 

9. FFA Security Committee meets to consider person’s submission and all material and determine whether to impose a ban and if so, the length of ban, applying the Table of Prohibited Conduct and minimum Banning periods.

 

10. Person issued with a Banning Notice, detailing the conduct, the ban imposed, consequences of non-compliance with the ban and how the person can appeal the ban to the Football Independent Banning Appeal Committee (FIBAC).  Banning Notice also provided to the person’s Hyundai A-League Club (if applicable)

 

11. Where applicable, ban served

 

12. Person can appeal to FIBAC

 

13. FIBAC considers and determines appeal

 

14. FIBAC can:

  1. Set aside the decision of FFA to impose the ban
  2. Uphold the decision of FFA to impose the ban
  3. Vary the decision of FFA by imposing a lesser ban

 

15. The determination made by the FIBAC must be in writing, briefly provide reasons and be provided to the parties to the appeal.

This article was originally published at: http://www.a-league.com.au/article/ffa-board-ratifies-new-fan-banning-procedure/itev5xmui8zoze0uddjjxe8s.