Eleven fans thrown out of Aussie Open

Updated: 19 January 2010 13:35 IST

Eleven people were thrown out of the Australian Open on Monday for unruly behaviour as hooliganism once again marred the opening Grand Slam of the season.

Melbourne: Eleven people were thrown out of the Australian Open on Monday for unruly behaviour as hooliganism once again marred the opening Grand Slam of the season.

"The spectators were warned once by security for unruly behaviour, and then ejected after behaving in a disruptive manner a second time," Victoria state police said in a statement.

"Security removed the spectators from Melbourne Park with the assistance of police."

Police did not specify their nationality but earlier in the day a group of around 60 chanting Croats lit flares and made offensive and threatening gestures as they marched enmasse to the tournament.

The Herald Sun newspaper said one of its photographers was spat on and punched as he photographed the chanting mob. Racial tensions and trouble have marred the Australian Open in recent years with Serbs and Croats among the worst offenders.

Some of the worst scenes were on the opening day of the 2007 tournament when Serbian and Croatian fans, wearing the national colours of the bitter Balkan rivals, attacked each other with flagpoles, bottles and boots.

Then in 2008, police used pepper spray to subdue rowdy elements of the crowd watching a match between Konstantinos Economidis of Greece and Chile's Fernando Gonzales.

Victoria Police said Monday that that would act swiftly to stem any anti-social behaviour at the Open.
Topics : Tennis
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