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Sydney United fans slammed as ’embarrassing’ by Australian sports presenter Lucy Zelić

An Australian-Croatian TV presenter has weighed in on the ’embarrassing and devastating’ scenes at the Australia Cup final, which saw some Sydney United fans perform Nazi Salutes and boo during the Welcome to Country.

Lucy Zelić, who was most recently a sports presenter for SBS, is the latest in a string of high-profile presenters, athletes and commentators to slam the disgraceful display witnessed by tens of thousands of fans on Saturday night.

Some followers of United, formerly known as Sydney Croatia, were heard singing Za Dom Spremni (For Homeland – Ready), a chant used by the far-right Ustase movement in the 1930s and 1940s, at the game.

Distressing images and videos that did the rounds on social media also appeared to show fans performing fascist-style salutes during the match.

Lucy Zelić, who was most recently a sports presenter for SBS, is the latest in a string of high-profile presenters, athletes and commentators to slam the disgraceful display from some Sydney United fans during the Australia Cup Final on Saturday

Zelić took to Twitter on Sunday to call out the behaviour of 'so-called fans' whose disrespect overshadowed the match held at Sydney's Commbank Stadium (pictured)

Zelić took to Twitter on Sunday to call out the behaviour of ‘so-called fans’ whose disrespect overshadowed the match held at Sydney’s Commbank Stadium (pictured)

Some could also be heard singing and allegedly booing during the national anthem and the traditional Welcome to Country ahead of the game against Macarthur.

Zelić took to Twitter on Sunday to call out the behaviour of ‘so-called fans’ whose disrespect overshadowed the match held at Sydney’s Commbank Stadium.

‘What happened at last night’s @AustraliaCup Final was shocking and simply devastating, and I didn’t want to believe it,’ she tweeted.

‘It was the first time I felt embarrassed by the actions of my fellow countrymen, and I wasn’t alone. Their beliefs and behaviour aren’t a true representation of Croatians, just as the actions of fans aren’t ever representative of a football club.

‘What’s worse, is that many of them appeared to be teenagers who simply don’t know how deeply the ramifications of their actions run.’

Zelić added that she knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of racism and was often told, ‘f**k of back to Croatia wog’.

She said this had made her confused, because Australia had always felt like home.

Pictures of fans with their right arm raised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral on social media during the game and has seen been widely condemned

Pictures of fans with their right arm raised in what appeared to be a Nazi salute quickly went viral on social media during the game and has seen been widely condemned

The journalist said the fans found guilty of the Nazi salutes should be hit with lifetime bans from future games as well as ‘face the full arm of the law’.

More importantly, she said fans should be made to complete an ‘education course on history’ and be confronted with photos from Nazi concentration camps and listen to stories from holocaust survivors.

‘I’m so pleased that our football community stood up to condemn the actions and hold people to account, but the language around this is also important and can be as divisive as it can be unifying,’ she tweeted.

‘Celebrating our culture and heritage will never supersede that because, as the game of football has taught us – there is a seat at the table for everyone.’

The presenter’s condemnation of fans who ‘disrespected’ what was meant to be a historic moment in Australian football comes as supporters lash out at rogue members of the fanbase for leaving a ‘nasty stain’ on the community.

‘This has become a common occurrence at matches featuring Croatian teams, see Dinamo fans in Milan just recently,’ one user replied to Zelić’s tweets.

‘It appears to be normalised behaviour amongst football fans. It needs to be called out, but unfortunately prominent sports journalists do not.’

Sydney United supporters lash out at rogue members of the fanbase for leaving a 'nasty stain' on the community (pictured, a fan appears to raise his right arm in a Nazi salute)

Sydney United supporters lash out at rogue members of the fanbase for leaving a ‘nasty stain’ on the community (pictured, a fan appears to raise his right arm in a Nazi salute)

Others took to Sydney United’s Instagram to condemn the behaviour. 

‘Should be ashamed for booing the Welcome to Country,’ one user commented. 

‘Please do something about some of your fans, you have their photos! Making Croatian people look bad,’ another said. 

‘I was all in support for Sydney last night, who doesn’t love a underdog story. Then the Welcome to Country commenced,’ one fan wrote on Faceboook. 

‘The booing and people throwing Nazi signs were a absolute disgrace! Glad that they lost after that display!’

‘A very sad occasion for Australian football and its genuine supporters,’ another said. 

‘The club should be severely punished. Rejection of their membership would be a positive start.’

A section of Sydney United fans allegedly started booing and sang chants during the national anthem and the Welcome to Country

A section of Sydney United fans allegedly started booing and sang chants during the national anthem and the Welcome to Country

Football Australia released a statement condemning the ‘actions of certain individuals’ on Sunday. 

‘Sydney United 58 FC has zero tolerance towards any form of disrespect, racism or discrimination and is working closely with authorities to conduct a full investigation,’ the statement said.

‘The club is deeply committed to creating an environment that is respectful and inclusive, which also allows our community members to celebrate their heritage in a meaningful and responsible way.

‘Those that do not align themselves with these values are not welcome at Sydney United 58 FC and their views will never be tolerated.’

The disrespectful display from sections of the Sydney United crowd drew widespread condemnation from a slew of high-profile figures. 

‘These vile symbols and salutes have no place in modern Australian society,’ NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark said.

United supporters were also accused of booing during the Welcome to Country performed by Erin Wilkins (pictured), who seemed visibly shocked

United supporters were also accused of booing during the Welcome to Country performed by Erin Wilkins (pictured), who seemed visibly shocked

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

Former United player and Australia international Craig Foster tweeted his condemnation, describing the behaviour as a ‘horrific display of racist hate’.

Football Australia in a statement said: ‘A very small minority of attendees engaged in behaviour that is not consistent with Football Australia’s values and wider community expectations’.

The organisation said it took steps during the match to address some ‘isolated behaviours’ and evicted eight people from the stadium.

‘Football Australia is working closely with the management of CommBank Stadium 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,’ it said. 

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