Fan Kicked Out Of A-League Game Urges FFA To Address 'Over-Zealous' Policing
The fan who was kicked out of Sunday night's A-League preliminary final has urged Football Federation Australia to investigate "over-zealous" policing and security at its events.
Rory Carroll was escorted by a number of cops from the Sydney FC game against Melbourne Victory after police said he refused to co-operate with requests around "seating protocols".
But Carroll said he was simply trying to assist his young disabled daughter to use the bathroom facilities.
"As is prudent, I went to check the disabled bathroom first to ensure this was in a clean state," Carroll said in a statement.
"Security officials tried to physically stop me from doing so, placing a hand on my arm. Even though this was physically threatening to me, I ignored them and proceeded to check the bathroom."
Carroll said when he returned to his seat, he was "surrounded" by police and security guards.
"One particular police officer screamed at me in front of the children," Carroll continued.
"When I calmly asked a question about why we could not use that particular toilet, he said I was being argumentative."
Carroll also claims a police officer suggested he leave his daughters and their friend -- all young children -- at the stadium unaccompanied, which appeared to him to be in "total disregard for their welfare".
Police have a conflicting version of events, with Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton telling 2GB on Monday that Carroll was attempting to access an area he was not allowed into.
The senior constable involved in the situation -- who remains anonymous -- told 2GB that Carroll "used physical force" to push past a female security guard, and that once "several burly male security guards got involved", Carroll said he needed to go back to his children.
“At this point, he used excuse after excuse not to be evicted from the stadium," the constable said.
Carroll being escorted out.
Carroll hit back at this version of events, saying he was merely trying to "ascertain the basis on which I was being evicted".
He also claims that a police car followed his car to the nearby McDonald's, parking directly behind him in the largely empty carpark, which he said was to "intimate" him and his family. He claims to have video evidence.
"All three children were traumatised by this intimidation, but particularly my special needs daughter," Carroll said.
NSW Police declined to provide further comment on Carroll's new statement.
Carroll is calling on the FFA to address the matter of "over-zealous policing" at its games, claiming both police and security guards "get things horribly wrong".
He said the ongoing issue was "turning good, loyal supporters away from our sport".
FFA confirmed it is looking into the incident, as well as seeking further discussion with stadium management around the level of responses used to evict attendees.
"There are conflicting accounts and a potential misunderstanding of the circumstances that led to this eviction," it said in a statement.