NRL fans sent to the sin bin for bad form

NRL fans sent to the sin bin for bad form

THE National Rugby League has banned two fans for life and sin-binned three others for five years over offences ranging from assault to streaking and ignoring a smoking ban.
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NRL spokesman John Brady said league representatives issued the banning notices to five men at their Sydney homes yesterday in the presence of police who are also prosecuting two for assaults following incidents at three games during the past three weeks.

The ages of the fans and the teams they support have not been revealed.

Mr Brady said the bans took the number of spectators excluded from matches for bad behaviour in the past three years to 16.

He said three banning notices were issued after the Rabbitohs-Bulldogs match at ANZ Stadium last Monday night, including a ban for life to a man who assaulted a security guard and a five-year ban to a man who became involved in the same incident.

Another man at the match was banned for five years after failing to follow instructions to leave ANZ Stadium after violating smoking regulations.

"The NRL is also proceeding with another life ban against a man for an assault in the car park at EnergyAustralia Stadium [in Newcastle] following the match between the Manly Sea Eagles and Newcastle Knights two weeks ago," Mr Brady said.

A man who ran naked onto the playing field at Parramatta Stadium three weeks ago has also been banned for five years.

"In all cases the NRL bans are game-wide and are in addition to any impending police or court proceedings. Bans are enforceable under the Enclosed Lands Protection Act and anyone who breaches a ban will be subject to criminal proceedings," Mr Brady said.

"It is important that people know bans on fans can be enforced. It is not something that we just do here and there. It is ongoing."

NSW Police major events commander Assistant Commissioner Denis Clifford said yesterday police supported the action by the NRL and worked with the league to identify those responsible.

"The decision by the NRL is supported by police and sends a clear message to those involved that assaults and serious offences won’t be tolerated at football games," Assistant Commissioner Clifford said.

"Sport doesn’t need these types of people ruining a game for others, and a ban will remind them for a long time that their behaviour is unacceptable."