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Soccer hooligans face five-year bans
15:05 AEST Thu Aug 23 2012

The two men at the centre of the violent scenes which have rocked Sydney's soccer community face five-year bans from Football Federation Australia-authorised matches.

FFA announced on Thursday that the men breached the FFA Code of Behaviour at recent trial matches in Sydney.

The first man was identified as having activated a flare at a trial match between Sydney FC and the Macarthur Rams at Campbelltown Stadium on August 14, which sparked an ugly brawl and led to a child being hit by a rock.

On Wednesday night a firework was thrown into a crowd at the Western Sydney Wanderers trial match against Sydney United.

That incident led to United fans clashing with police who were forced to use pepper spray to subdue the unruly mob at Edensor Park.

"The troublemakers who bring the game into disrepute with their reckless behaviour have no place in the game," said outgoing FFA chief executive 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.

"Football at all levels will spend whatever time and effort is required to ensure matches are played in a family-friendly atmosphere where people can enjoy football."

The ban will apply to all matches under the authority of FFA, including the A-League, W-League and national team matches played in Australia.

A third man will be banned for a period to be determined following an alleged assault during the match at Campbelltown.