One spectator was arrested and 13 were ejected from a preseason football match on Wednesday between new A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney United, which plays in the New South Wales Premier League.
Police said Thursday that the incident, the second involving fan violence in 10 days in western Sydney, began when a firecracker was thrown into the crowd at Edensor Park. Police were forced to use pepper spray after a group of about 60 spectators reacted to the arrest of the man who threw it.
A 27-year-old man was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest and will appear in court in September.
Sydney United beat the A-League side 2-1.
In another preseason game Aug. 14 between A-League club Sydney FC and NSW League side Macarthur Rams, a man was knocked out and a 6-year-old boy was hit in the head by a rock during a disturbance at Campbelltown Stadium after a flare was thrown into the crowd.
Later Thursday, Football Federation Australia said both men involved in the incidents would be banned from attending A-League or Australian internationals for five years.
”The troublemakers who bring the game into disrepute with their reckless behavior have no place in the game,” said FFA chief Ben Buckley. ”The incidents at Campbelltown and Edensor Park over the past week were the work of a few idiots who wanted to cause trouble.”