Football Australia is trawling through video footage of the crowd at Saturday night’s Australia Cup final in Sydney after some fans “displayed the Hitler salute”.

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies has called for Sydney United 58 fans who displayed Nazi symbols and salutes at the match to be given lifetime bans.

A record 16,461-strong crowd gathered at Commbank Stadium to watch Macarthur FC beat Sydney United 58 2-0.

But the match was overshadowed when some Sydney United supporters booed the pre-match welcome to country and the national anthem, sang fascist songs, displayed symbols associated with the Ustaše and made Hitler salutes visible on camera.

The Ustaše was a fascist group that collaborated with the Nazis during the second world war and participated in war crimes, ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide including the establishment of the Jasenovac concentration camp where Jews, Serbs, Roma, other minority groups and political opponents were murdered.

The state Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive, Darren Bark, condemned the display of Nazi symbols and salutes during the game “in the strongest possible terms”.

“These vile symbols and salutes have no place in modern Australian society,” Bark said on Sunday.

“They represent the ultimate manifestation of evil – an evil which led to the murder of millions of innocent civilians during WWII, including 6 million Jews and thousands of Australian diggers who lost their lives fighting against the Nazis.

“Reprehensible conduct such as this causes immense distress to the victims of Nazi crimes and their descendants, whilst undermining our cohesive multicultural society. The fact that the welcome to country and national anthem was also booed last night underlines the contempt these people have for Australia and our diggers.”

Football Australia said on Sunday it condemned “the actions of a small minority of individuals”, saying their behaviour was “not consistent with Football Australia’s values and wider community expectations”.

“Football Australia took steps during the match to address some isolated behaviours by a small minority of individuals, including facilitating the evictions of eight people,” it said in a statement.

“Football Australia is today assessing all footage and images available of certain individuals which are of concern to our organisation and the broader Australian football community, including the displaying of the ‘Hitler salute’.”

The governing body said it was “working closely” with CommBank Stadium management and NSW police to determine “strong and swift action on any identified anti-social behaviour which may also be deemed as illegal in the state of NSW”.

NSW police said it condemned antisocial and offensive behaviour “whether in a public place or at an organised event”.

“NSW police are aware of the incident and officers from Parramatta … are conducting inquiries,” the force said in a statement. “Anyone who wants to report a crime or who has information on the incident is urged to come forward.”

Former Socceroo Craig Foster described the crowd behaviour as “disgusting” and called for everyone involved to be held to account.

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Catching up on the disgusting news from last night.

My apologies to Indigenous Australia. I condemn the horrific display of racist hate &amp; stand with our Jewish &amp; other affected communities.

All involved need to be held accountable including the club. https://t.co/t7nEeO5gvy

&mdash; Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) October 1, 2022

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Catching up on the disgusting news from last night.

My apologies to Indigenous Australia. I condemn the horrific display of racist hate & stand with our Jewish & other affected communities.

All involved need to be held accountable including the club. https://t.co/t7nEeO5gvy

— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) October 1, 2022

Bark said Football Australia needed to “take strong action” against any fan who participated while also working with Sydney United 58 to address the behaviour of its supporters.

Sydney United was founded by Croatian immigrants in 1958.

The Guardian contacted the club for comment.

Source: The Guardian