Footy fan banned from AFL grounds over alleged assault at Geelong game

Published by the Herald Sun on August 16.

A footy fan accused of assaulting a policewoman and a security guard at a Geelong game last weekend has copped a five-year ban from AFL matches.

The man was a guest in the corporate section of Geelong’s GMHBA stadium on Saturday night and was asked to leave due to reported behavioural issues and intoxication.

It’s understood the 45-year-old Corio man had gone out for a cigarette during the Cats’ game against North Melbourne and was told he couldn’t get back in before he allegedly lashed out, attacking a guard and a female senior constable.

Police used OC spray to subdue the man.

A second female senior constable was affected by the OC spray and had to be hospitalised.

The man was charged with two counts of recklessly causing injury, resisting police, assaulting an emergency worker on duty and behaving in a riotous manner.

“The AFL issued the patron a five-year banning notice. It applies to any AFL match around the country,” AFL spokesman Jay Allen said.

The Kardinia Park Stadium Trust said the board was considering its next step and whether it would take any further action.

In a statement the Trust said violent behaviour was not tolerated at the stadium.

It’s understood the man is not a Geelong Cats member.

The football club issued a statement on Sunday condemning the incident.

“All people should be able to attend the football in a safe environment without incidents such as these occurring,” it said.

“We will work with various stakeholders to ascertain more details around the incident.”

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said he was not shocked by Saturday night’s confrontation.

Mr Gatt said the diminished respect for police was constantly evident, whether at the footy or in other situations. “Policing has never been more dangerous than it is at the moment,” he said.

“Barely a day goes by where the Police Association isn’t notified of circumstances where our members have been injured in the line of duty.

“The days of the blue uniform turning up and violence dissipating are long gone.”

The accused man was bailed to appear at Geelong Magistrates’ Court on December 9.