Hyundai A-League chief Damien de Bohun has promised to come down severely on the spectator who king-hit another fan during the Melbourne Heart-Western Sydney Wanderers clash on the weekend.
A-League chief Damien de Bohun has promised to come down severely on the spectator who king-hit another fan during the Melbourne Heart-Western Sydney Wanderers clash on the weekend. De Bohun said he was shocked and extremely disappointed after footage emerged of a fan striking an unwary Wanderers supporter during the match at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
The attacker knocked one Wanderers fan to the ground before setting upon another man.
Victorian Police are continuing investigations into the incident but it's believed they have received confirmation over the perpetrator's identity.
Speaking at an A-League All-Stars announcement on Monday, de Bohun said: "The incident that happened on the weekend was outrageous and completely unacceptable.
"It was an isolated incident but it's something we won't tolerate in football.
"We're working closely with the police and both clubs to ensure the individual is identified and dealt with appropriately.
"From a football perspective they won't be welcome back in football for a very long time."
While a criminal charge against the attacker will depend on if the victim wants to pursue the matter, a ban of between five and 10 years is being weighed up by football officials.
"We've had five year bans for flares and the longest ban is 12 years.
"This is an issue we're taking very seriously and the individual concerned can expect not to come back to football for a very long time.
"We're excited with the progress football is making and the way the season is going but the same time we have a very serious responsibility for any behaviour like this to be stamped out completely.
"We need to keep working with our supporter groups to ensure this behaviour isn't allowed."
The Heart released a statement on Monday confirming they were helping Victorian Police with their investigation and were confident the attacker would be found.
"Melbourne Heart FC continues to adopt a zero tolerance policy on anti-social behaviour and anyone who exhibits behaviour of this type will be removed from all association with Melbourne Heart FC," the statement said.
"Football Federation Australia, as a custodian for banning individuals who breach the FFA Spectator Code of Behaviour, will follow up the incident to ensure the appropriate sanction is applied."
Meanwhile, de Bohun confirmed the Central Coast Mariners are going through some financial troubles but is confident their issues will be resolved quickly.
Details emerged on Monday that the club was unable to pay its players last week the second time this season their wages have been late.
"They have been going through some different issues with their ownership which we're working through," de Bohun said.
"It's something that's gone out by a couple of days but it will be resolved very quickly.
"They are a very successful club and we'll keep working with them to ensure they are successful on and off the field. They're a really good story and we think they've got a huge future in the league."