A civil war has broken out between Australian supporters during the 2020 FIFA World Cup with fans calling out “toxic” behavior and abuse from the Socceroos in Qatar.
Australia scored a stunning first goal against defending champions France in their opening Group D match before being put to the sword in a humiliating 4-1 defeat.
As the French players scored the goals, some supporters in the stands decided to pour on the abuse with sledding including personal attacks and cruel pranks on families and children trying to enjoy the game.
Craig Goodwin celebrates with teammates Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree and Aziz Behich after scoring the team’s first goal against France
“I was so ashamed to be an Australian last night… ashamed that we sat next to so many disgusting, ignorant, toxic people representing our country,” one fan wrote online.
The booing from the French team and the insults and incredible aggression directed at my Australian friend’s French brother-in-law, who was sitting among us, was atrocious. We were all there to enjoy the game.
“My friend’s parents had also flown out from Australia and were so shocked by the comments. There were children listening who also looked horrified. It basically ruined the whole experience for all of us.’
Australian Socceroos fans clash with a man posing as a French supporter as they watch Australia play France in the FIFA World Cup, at Federation Square in Melbourne
Another fan was in the same part of the stadium and agreed that the language used was shocking, particularly aimed at star winger Kylian Mbappe.
“I was sitting near your ward as well. I agree with you. Really toxic comments. The guy who did all the abuse used the c-word about 100 times. Anyone near children. And the abuse Mbappe received. Singing “who are you”. He is a once in a generation player, the fans wrote.
Fans went on to say that the French fan did well to keep his cool in the face of horrific abuse.
“The Australian habit of dropping the C-bomb in mixed company is pathetic. Wouldn’t have happened on my day. Almost like a badge of honor for these some of these clowns to swear as much as possible, the Aussie fan added.
Another Socceroos supporter said the abuse hurled at players and fans went beyond typical soccer jumping and chanting.
“This ‘offensive’ chanting is part of the game, as long as it’s not racist and against kids it’s fine… Chant what you want… Ban him from the game. Whatever,” they said.
Mbappe battles for the ball with Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group D football match between France and Australia at Al-Janoub Stadium
“But at one point an Aussie launched into a tirade against her visiting French family member for not representing Australia with her visiting family with all the expressions used. His mates kept pulling him back and we are even embarrassed by it. The French guy shrugged.
Not everyone was happy to hear from the funny police, saying foreign football fans gave as good as they got.
“Oh no, you were insulted at a football match? Oh poor you. May I suggest you don’t go to any more football matches then? It might be best. All that booing and cheering is a bit much for some people. We understand that. So don’t come,’ one fan wrote.
Most Socceroos fans have behaved themselves and got behind their team in the FIFA World Cup. There is no suggestion that any fans misbehaved during the game against France
‘Jesus is this your first football match? Who are you it is hardly abuse. Heard every week all over the world and always targeting the best players. This is top football not the kindergarten’s sports day, said another.
“What are you doing mate? Not here for a haircut. It’s life and death and if you can’t handle booing an anthem then go back to the AFL, added another.
Other spectators at Al Janoub Stadium said the Aussie fans were better behaved in their sections.
“We were at the match very friendly, lots of fun, no problems at all! I guess it depends on where you sat,’ wrote one.
“I’m so sorry you had that experience. I actually had the opposite with friendly banter, and passion from both sides. I also sat with France’s supporters and families. The crowd you’re sitting with is lucky in the draw I guess,’ wrote another.
Socceroos fans must turn out in full voice against Tunisia tomorrow night AEDT, former Australian defender Milos Degenek has warned – because the African nation’s fans will be loud.
“I haven’t seen a team at a World Cup yet with so much heart and passion and desire and love for their country,” he said of Tunisia.
“They have a phenomenal drive … the guys love each other and they have this fire in their eyes and they are very strong in the way they do things.”