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Michael Lynch says issues with soccer crowds run deeper than the game

Soccer matches could soon be played in empty stadiums in Melbourne as police come down hard on hooligans.

In another night of violence, 20 people were evicted from Saturday night’s Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, while several flares were lit before and during the game.

Melbourne Victory is facing a loss of points and a big fine because of it’s fans’ behaviour.

But soccer writer at The Age Michael Lynch doesn’t think blame lies with the game – it goes deeper than that.

‘A lot of the issues surrounding football violence are not to do with football,’ he said.

‘What they’re to do with is young men essentially looking to establish their territory.’

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Victory’s No. 1 ticket-holder George Calombaris said security needs to be upgraded to match some of the world’s biggest sporting leagues. 

The celebrity chef told 3AW reporter Donna Demaio soccer hooligans who let off flares ‘idiots’.

‘We do not tolerate that at the club,’ he said.

‘What are we waiting for? Someone to get hurt?’

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