Socceroos fans condemned over grubby act after loss at World Cup

Socceroos fans, pictured here picking up rubbish that had been left littered around Fed Square.
Some Socceroos fans picked up rubbish that had been left littered around Fed Square in Melbourne. Image: Channel 10/AAP

Aussie football fans have been criticised online after leaving Federation Square in Melbourne a grubby mess following the Socceroos' loss to Argentina at the World Cup. Thousands of fans flocked to the live viewing site on Sunday morning as the Socceroos took on Argentina in the round of 16.

Flares and fireworks were set off even before the match began, as Socceroos fans dreamed of a monumental upset against the football powerhouse. And there was absolute pandemonium when the Socceroos scored in the 77th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1, as the big screen became lost behind thick plumes of red smoke.

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However Aussie fans were left shattered as Argentina hung on for victory. The Socceroos were unable to convert a couple of late chances that would have sent the game to extra time.

The remarkable scenes in Fed Square have gone viral around the globe during the World Cup, with viewers stunned by the scenes of celebration at 4am when the Socceroos beat Denmark to qualify for the knockout stages. However there were some unsavoury scenes on Sunday morning, with police having to make a number of arrests and break up fights, while fans left a mountain of rubbish on the ground in the iconic Melbourne landmark.

A number of fans were captured cleaning up some of the rubbish, channelling Japan's spectators in Qatar. However the grubby scenes left some social media users with a sour taste in their mouths.

Socceroos fans, pictured here cleaning up after others after rubbish was left around Federation Square in Melbourne.
Some Socceroos fans stayed back to clean up after others after rubbish was left around Federation Square in Melbourne. Image: Channel 10

"Can't stand littering. It's not hard to put your rubbish in a bin. We have to get better at this at all events," one fan wrote on Twitter. Another commented: "Great job by these people cleaning up, but it's not right that they clean up after other peoples grotty behaviour."

A third wrote: "Why do people not take their rubbish with them? It has become un-Australian to leave our open spaces and stadiums, as dumping grounds......do better people." While another added: "Well done to the fans cleaning up after some very INCONSIDERATE ‘fans’ leaving their rubbish."

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Police happy overall with Socceroos fan behaviour

A spokesperson for Victoria Police said they were pleased with the behaviour of most fans, however a small number at Fed Square engaged in anti-social behaviour. Two people were hospitalised with minor burns from flares, while a woman was injured due to crowding.

The stage area at Fed Square was also damaged by the flares, while a 17-year-old boy was arrested for being drunk and police had to use pepper spray before the match started as crowds tried to push their way into the already packed square. Two officers were injured after fans pushed down a metal fence in the scuffle.

Police, pictured here detaining a person in Fed Square during the Socceroos' clash with Argentina at the World Cup.
Police detain a person in Fed Square during the Socceroos' clash with Argentina at the World Cup. (AAP Image/Will Murray)
Socceroos fans, pictured here celebrating in Fed Square after a goal against Argentina at the World Cup.
Socceroos fans celebrate in Fed Square after a goal against Argentina at the World Cup. (AAP Image/Will Murray)

Thankfully the behaviour was better in other parts of the country, with thousands watching at AAMI Park in Melbourne and Sydney's Tumbalong Park. While the result knocked the Socceroos out of the World Cup, fans were already looking ahead to the next one.

"We'll be watching again in four years but I'm very happy with them," Socceroos fan Edwina Acker told AAP.

Khalil Zaydan said: "I think the important thing about today is you realise how much Australians love this sport. We'll come back in four years and hopefully get a better result."

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is on SBS and SBS on Demand.

with AAP

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