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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 December 2015
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 DECEMBER 2015 SPORT A-League Rd 9 preview GEORGE STOGIANNOU Round nine of the A-League kicked off on Thursday night in Gosford with Melbourne City's second 5-1 win in a row. Melbourne City's potent attack of Harry Novillo( two goals) and Bruno Fornaroli set up the win before Stefan Mauk made it 4-nil in the 75th minute. Austin scored a late penalty for the home team before Aaron Mooy scored in injury time for Melbourne City, which climbed to fourth spot on the A-League ladder ahead of Sydney City's match against the Jets last night. The rest of the round's matches kick off this afternoon in New Zealand. Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory, Sat 5 Dec, 5.15 pm, QBE Stadium Both these sides met just four weeks ago in Melbourne when Melbourne Victory scored an emphatic 3-nil win before winning another three on the trot to climb to the top of the ladder. For Phoenix this is the first of a trio of fixtures against top three opponents in the lead-up to Christmas. Phoenix will have to buck a strong trend to upset Victory, which has won four of its last five visits to Phoenix and 11 of the last 13 matches between the two teams. Victory will be without skipper Carl Valeri due to illness but welcomes back Connor Pain and Thomas Deng. Phoenix keeper Glen Moss will be hoping his team can celebrate his 100th A-League match with a win. Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar FC, Sat 5 Dec, Pirtek Stadium There can be little doubt that this is the match of the round with the second-placed Wanderers hosting third-placed Roar. It will be interesting to see what effect the RBR Bloc fan boycott has on Tony Popovic's team. There's no shortage of attacking options for the home team which welcomes back Mark Bridge and Federico Piovaccari. With just one point separating both teams and both undefeated in their last five outings, the match promises to be a test for both teams. The Wanderers’ five-match winning streak has already put the 3-1 loss to Roar in the season opener well behind it. They'll be keen for it to stay there with a win tonight. Adelaide United v Perth Glory, Sun 6 Dec, 5.00 pm, Coopers Stadium This fixture pits two teams at the bottom end of the table with just one win between them all season. And that came in their earlier encounter this season when Perth defeated the Reds 3-1 at home. There's a lot at stake for both these struggling teams with another loss sure to increase the pressure on the losing coach. Page 26 FFV launches new community business model Page 27 Panathinaikos punishment changes league table 9 771321 167062 City sinks the Mariners Happy Harry Novillo scores another goal for Melbourne City. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES. Glory will be desperate to put last week's 5-1 loss to Melbourne City behind it. Coach Kenny Lowe includes Gyrogy Sandor and Josh Risdon in his squad whilst the Reds welcome back attacker Eli Babalj. The match looms as Red's coach Guillermo Amor's best chance of breaking his duck this season. FFA chairman and CEO respond to criticism FFA chairman and CEO respond to criticism GEORGE STOGIANNOU The growing criticism and noise surrounding the issue of banned fans has prompted the FFA leadership to call a second press conference in three days. Amid calls from active supporter groups to boycott ALeague matches this round and criticisms from the Media and A-League clubs directed at the FFA for not taking a stronger stand in defending supporters from attacks by some media, FFA chairman Steven Lowy and FFA CEO David Gallop held a joint press conference early Thursday afternoon. To accusations that the FFA leadership is not sticking up for the fans, Lowy said: "Noth- ing could be further from reality. I genuinely believe that somewhere in the debate of the last eleven days, we have lost sight of the facts, and the issue of crowd safety has been conflated with other issues and agendas. So let me be absolutely clear. FFA is resolute on issue of crowd behaviour. Zero tolerance is our policy. Nothing will change that." Lowy announced that the FFA will conduct a review of the banning system over the next couple of months and expect to finalise it by February. The system has come under heavy criticism from active fan groups who claim it lacks procedural fairness. "It is already a sound, robust system but the system is not perfect," Lowy said. Gallop said that the appeals issue will be part of the review and that a critical part of the review process will be to listen to the active supporter groups, fans and other stakeholders. "It's a difficult system,” Gallop said. “The fundamentals of it are complex. It does involve protecting certain confidential information and that's something we have to be careful of … There are issues around how much evidence can be disclosed because it's given to us on the basis that it stays confidential. It certainly occasionally comes from fans themselves. They give it on the basis that it doesn't become disclosed. They want to protect their identity. We've got to be careful with that because that's an important part of the system. On the one side you want to have complete transparency. On the other you want to protect the ability to get that information. "We need to look really carefully at it through the review. Because obviously we recognise the competing interests here. We recognise that people want to know what evidence is being used against DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 FFA CEO David Gallop (L) and FFA chairman Steven Lowy address a packed press gallery. them. We also recognise people will only give us the evidence if it is confidential." Lowy said that with the benefit of hindsight, it feels as though it would have been better to deal with [the issues] earlier and show leadership earlier. "These issues clearly have been fueled in the community in a manner the FFA didn't expect,” he said. “We recognise that and we hope we can get a better understanding of the issues, frame the agenda. It's very difficult to show leadership in areas that have great complexity to them. Where there are vastly different views out there. There are very different views in the media out there. There are parts of the media that don't appreciate the game and are very critical. And we've got to defend that. But we should also be open to listen to fair criticism." It remains to be seen how active supporter groups react to the FFA's announcement of a review.
28 November 2015
12 December 2015