Laurence (@MVFCLR22) looks at how football fans across the country united as one on Wednesday night.
19th of December 2012, mark it down as the day that all football fans across the country took a stand for what’s right.
Our game has been ridiculed beyond belief for generations upon generations and post the momentous 2006 World Cup qualification, this has only intensified as football fans across the country started to support the game in their backyard.
The aftermath of Saturday night’s appalling media coverage in regards to a mere 3 people being ejected has been enormous. Certain sections of the non football world have had their word, whether it means much to us fans or not. We have been laid bear and forced to take it but on a normally quiet Wednesday night, things exploded on social media.
Loyal and passionate fans took to the Facebook page of Channel 9, calling them out for their ignorant and negative coverage of the Derby. What was to follow was to shock even the most one eyed football fan. Channel 9 posted a comment on their page saying that they will report what they see fit to report, a complete smack in the face to the members of active supporters groups around the country.
The hash tag #passionisnotacrime was created and within a mere hour, it was trending across Australia. A simple comment by a media network on their Facebook page was ultimately the straw that broke the camels back. Fans from all 10 A-League clubs as well as passionate fans of all codes bandied together for the one cause. We have had it with certain media organisations and pieces written in national papers demeaning our game for no apparent reason. There were even some suggestions between the most bitter of rivals in the lead up to Melbourne Derby to create a joint banner to unite us all as football fans, not just a Heart fan or Victory follower.
Through this extraordinary campaign on twitter, we captured the imagination of all sports followers. This isn’t about asking for positive coverage, rather just a fair go in Australia’s ever changing sporting landscape. From the ugly coverage regarding a small minority in Season 2 to the latest media bias at the Sydney derby, football followers across the country had enough and finally took a stand for what’s right.
Football is unique and thus in the ever changing media landscape, it will take time for those not familiar to the game to accept singing and changing for 90 minutes is about passion and a simple flare isn’t violent. Admittedly, flares aren’t good for the image of the sport but in no way letting them off is a federal offence like some in the media have portrayed them to be.
Football is an ever growing code in this country and over time, people that have dismissed it as nothing but a fad will be proven wrong. It may take a generational change to eradicate this ridiculous behaviour from certain sections of the media but what I am sure of is that loyal and passionate football across the A-League will continue to support their clubs. It’s up to us to educate them and include them in what makes football unique.
All we ask for is that people don’t have to love our game but that those among us that dont have a passion for football treat it with the respect that it deserves. The 19th of December was a red letter day for all fans across the country. It will forever be remembered as the day that all fans united as one for a common goal, the love of football.