Spectators evicted from MCG over racist taunts

Thursday 03rd January 2019 01:56 EST

Spectators in the MCG's famous Bay 13 were ejected and others warned after racially motivated taunting of Indian players and spectators raised multiple complaints over the first three days of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Chants of "show us your visa" were a regular feature of the first two days, leading to a formal warning from Cricket Australia to spectators in the public area that if the chanting did not stop then the entire bay would be ejected from the ground. Monitoring of the crowd on day three led to several fans being evicted.

A CA spokesperson said: "Cricket Australia takes a zero tolerance stance against any form of abuse or racial vilification at any of our matches, whether it be towards fans, players, or staff. Fans are able to report this to stadium staff or security. Victoria Police and MCG stadium security monitored the behaviour of the crowd in a section of the stadium and evicted several fans for inappropriate behaviour. They will continue to monitor the area for remaining days of the Test."

Other chants from the bay, such as "Kohli's a wanker", were the cause for some complaints from other spectators but not deemed worthy of a warning. Similar chants about opposition players have been part of the MCG atmosphere for some years, famously including New Zealand's Sir Richard Hadlee among others.

Crowd members are encouraged to report "anti-social behaviour", while CA's ticket and entry conditions expressly prohibit any sort of racist taunting, stating in part: "I will not engage in any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any other person (including any player, match official, other official or other patron) on the basis of their gender, race, religion, culture, colour, sexual orientation, descent or national or ethnic origin.

"If I fail to comply with this condition, I may be refused admission to, or evicted from, the Venue by any Authorised Person without refund or compensation of any kind; and I must deliver up any and all Tickets that I have in my possession at the request of an Authorised Person. In addition, I acknowledge that the failure to comply with this condition may result in the imposition of other sanctions (such as being banned from the Venue in the future) and possible further action including criminal prosecution."

Booing of various players has also been a feature of the match so far, including that of India captain Virat Kohli and also the Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh, who came into the side in place of Peter Handscomb. His teammate Travis Head stated his disappointment at the booing of Marsh on Boxing Day.

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