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Federation Square Cancels Women’s World Cup Live Site After Fans Storm Barriers During Matildas’ Match

Football fans will no longer be able to watch the remaining Women’s World Cup matches at Melbourne’s Federation Square after a group of people broke through barriers during the Matildas’ match against England.

Football fans stormed the barriers past security to join the square, which had already hit maximum capacity that night.

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Soon after Sam Kerr scored for the Matildas, some fans expressed their excitement by lighting up flares.

The orange smoke filled the air above the 10,000-capacity venue and sparked authorities’ concerns.

According to Victoria Police, more than 50 flares were discharged, and a number of them were thrown.

Officials also reported that “a large, rowdy group of mainly young males, part of the active supporter groups, discharged and threw a significant number of flares.”

Police issued fines exceeding $960 each to four males, aged between 16 and 23, for possessing flares, and they also issued a caution to a 16-year-old for hurling a flare.

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On Tuesday evening, a Federation Square/government spokesperson said: “As a result of disappointing behaviour by a small group of people, Federation Square management has made the decision that there will no longer be a live site at Federation Square due to safety concerns.”

“During the Women’s World Cup, Federation Square has hosted 140,000 people – and there have been many memorable scenes with thousands throwing their support behind the Matildas,” the spokesman said.

The spokesperson said the Melbourne live site would also be transferred to AAMI Park, and those arrangements remain unaffected.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews commented on such behaviour, calling Victorian football fans to act appropriately.

“I don’t reckon members of the Matildas squad would want people behaving that way, I certainly don’t,” Mr Andrews said.

“It wasn’t the night people wanted, but there’s no excuse.”

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