Unsavory scenes marred Sydney United’s first Australia Cup final, with fans reportedly signing the entire national anthem and Welcome to Country.
Sydney United’s wonder run to the cup final was the story of the competition this season as they became the first national Premier League team to reach the final.
Sydney United, a powerhouse of the old National Soccer League, defeated the heavyweights of the A-League, Western United and Brisbane Roar.
Sydney United fans would have booed and sang during the Welcome to Country
But what should have been a joyous event at the CommBank Stadium on Saturday night turned into a much bleaker affair before a crowd of 16,461, dominated by Sydney United supporters.
Prior to the kick-off against Macarthur, parts of fans could be heard singing the national anthem and the traditional Welcome to Country.
The chants and chants were clearly audible during Channel 10’s broadcast and sparked an angry response on social media.
“Not that hard to respect a Welcome to Country,” tweeted freelance journalist Joey Lynch.
freelance journalist Joey Lynch noted that Welcome to Country was not respected
Several fans agreed with the position.
“These smooth-brained Sydney United talk about ‘respecting history’ with ethnic clubs and actively proclaiming them the most basic acknowledgment of 60,000 years of vibrant culture,” one tweeted.
‘Miserable. Absolute village mentality.’
Formerly known as Sydney Croatia, Sydney United has long been a focal point for the Croatian community in Sydney and beyond. However, some elements of the club’s hardcore support are depicted giving Roman salutes and carrying flags
Viewers berate Sydney United fans for ‘absolute village mentality’
Fans criticized experts for failing to highlight the behavior of Sydney United fans
The scenes before the Australia Cup final on Saturday night left many fans disgusted
Elements of the Sydney United Supporters group (SUS) have carried symbols of white supremacy and fascist imagery.
SUS members have also sung songs in praise of the Ustaše – an ultra-nationalist far-right organization that, from 1929 to 1945, supported the creation of a greater and “racially pure Croatia.”
On Saturday, photos of fans raising their right arms in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral on social media.
Photos of fans with their right arms raised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral on social media
“This Australia Cup final should have been a celebration of Australian football, it’s spoiling it instead,” tweeted freelance journalist Paul Williams.
‘The Ustaše symbols and chants, the lack of respect for the Welcome to Country and the national anthem. There is no room for it. Serious conversations need to be had before we make the NSD concrete.’
Presenter Jake Buckley added: ‘Sydney United going to the Finals was meant to be a good thing. First NPL club ever to do it. Instead, it exposed neo-Nazis in their own supporter group.
Freelance journalist Paul Williams argued that the behavior of Sydney United fans had ruined what should have been a glorious opportunity for Australian football
Presenter Jake Buckely called on authorities to investigate the scenes at CommBank Stadium
“I hope the whole club is thoroughly investigated. These people should not be welcome in football in this country.’
On the pitch, a 32-minute penalty from Al Hassan Toure and a second goal from Ulises Davila in the closing stages of the second half secured victory for Macarthur as Dwight Yorke claimed his first silverware five games into his managerial reign.
The win also gave Macarthur their first trophy since they competed in the A-League Men in 2020 and will see them take their place in the 2023/24 AFC Cup.
Sydney United fans dominated the 16,461 crowd at CommBank Stadium on Saturday
A 14th-minute corner from Daniel Arzani found the head of Jonathan Aspropotamitis and without the reflexes of United goalkeeper Danijel Nizic, the Bulls would have taken an early lead.
The Bulls kept pushing forward and got their reward when Davila was knocked down in the penalty area after an awkward challenge from United defender Anthony Tomelic.
Touré converted from the spot and was greeted with projectiles from the United fans as he raced to their end while covering his ears to celebrate.
Al Hassan Toure scored Macarthur’s first goal of the evening against Sydney United
The Bulls bagged the first trophy from Dwight Yorke’s managerial tenure on Saturday
United pushed forward but were unable to equalize no matter how hard they tried, Chris Payne hit too much when they faced Macarthur.
Striker Patrick Antelmi, who perhaps had the best chance of the evening, could only catch a header in the hands of Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto.
The Bulls, who got close to Lachlan Rose in the second half, eventually took second place when substitute Craig Noone was felled in United’s penalty area and Davila completed the result in the 90th minute with a well-taken penalty.