Fans’ banner draws AFC fine

A banner displayed by a group of fans in Japan during Brisbane Roar’s AFC Champions League win over Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium earlier this month has cost the club a fine.

The Asian Football Confederation has ruled the wording on the banner contravened sections 67.2 and 67.3 of the AFC Disciplinary Code.

Under that code, Brisbane Roar FC was held responsible for the actions of those seen to be supporting the team even though it is understood the fans involved were mostly Japan-based and the club was completely unaware of their intentions until the banner was unfurled at the stadium.

The AFC Disciplinary Committee ruled that words on the banner “having a whale of a time” violated article 67.3 of the code which states improper conduct includes “displaying insulting or political slogans in any form”.

A Brisbane Roar FC spokesman said the incident highlighted that the behaviour of fans, inside and outside any stadium, reflected on the club.

“We appreciated the support of Roar fans in Japan, and those who travelled there for our match, but Brisbane Roar FC upholds the highest standards of sportsmanship and this is a costly lesson that needs to be heeded by all fans at all times,” the spokesman said.