The 2017 Australian Open have already started but a group of male fans was already banned. 15 fans set off flares near ticket booths at Melbourne Park. Those fans now cannot enter the facility until Tuesday, January 17 when their 24-hour ban gets lifted.
However, the tennis Australia Director of Events and Facilities thinks otherwise. Tom Larner is looking to ban the fans for the entirety of the tournament.
Male Australian Open fans banned
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a large group of men who were spectators was banned for 24 hours on Monday. The fans composed of about 15 men reportedly set off flares outside the ticket booth along the Birrarung Marr Park.
No arrests were made by the Victoria Police Department. However, the guilty fans were denied entry to the first day of the Australian Open. On the other hand, there was some good news for the passionate fans as their tickets were refunded.
“The group of about 15 men aged in their 20s were spotted by police, ripping a flare in Birrarung Marr as they made their way to the tennis about 10.30am. The men have been denied entry to the venue and their tickets refunded,” a spokesperson for the Victoria Police said.
Tennis Australia Director of Events and Facilities could ban the fans for the entire tournament
Tom Larner, the Tennis Australia Director of Events and Facilities, said that they have the right to ban the fans. He noted that the ban lasts for only 24 hours but they have the right to refuse the fans entering Melbourne Park for the 2017 Australian Open.
“This group was intercepted by police before they entered the precinct and issued with a penalty. Although the Major Sporting Event Act only allows for a 24-hour ban, our ticketing terms and conditions give us the right to refuse entry. And we’ve told this group they will not be welcome back,” Larner said.
Police to tighten security
According to The Daily Mail, the Victoria Police will tighten the security at the 2017 Australian Open. Anti-social behavior is going to be observed all throughout the tournament wherein around 720,000 fans are expected to watch.
Photo Courtesy: Claudio Jofre Larenas/Flickr
Video Courtesy: Australian Open TV/YouTube