A Sydney father claims his disabled daughter has been left traumatised after he was allegedly denied access to the nearest disabled bathrooms at a soccer game in Sydney, and subsequently evicted from the stadium.
Vision shared on Twitter shows security staff and NSW police surrounding the man at the A-League preliminary finals match between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah.
In one video, he tells police that security “wouldn’t let him take his daughter” to the closest disabled toilet.
“You want to kick me out… because I can’t take my disabled daughter five metres?” he tells a police officer from the stands.
“Otherwise I have to go over there,” he continues, pointing across the stands in the direction of another bathroom further away.
A witness in the background can be heard calling the situation an “absolute disgrace”.
In another video, the crowds boo loudly as at least seven police officers escort the man and his family out of the stadium.
“This is a fantastic look for Football Australia,” the man recording the video says.
The father, identified as Rory Carroll, took to Twitter to speak about the incident, saying his daughter is “traumatised”.
“Seriously @FFA (Football Federation Australia) is this the image you want? When will you learn?” he wrote.
“If a young girl with special needs is not allowed to climb ten steps to the toilet she uses every other week, then what can I say.
“I was assaulted by security, threatened by a senior police officer screaming at me in front of my children as I sat on a terrace.”
His tweet was met with dozens of comments of support and sympathy from the public, with many describing the scene as “disgusting” and “humiliating”.
Bearded cop with the fluoro screamed at me in front of my children. When I asked a question he said I was being argumentative. Overweight man in white ordered me out. His security guard had earlier assaulted me. Female police sargent in white was more understanding. pic.twitter.com/FWNkXPjfjE— Rory Carroll (@CarrollRory) May 12, 2019
Police and Jubilee Stadium ‘set the record straight’
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Georges River Council – who manage Jubilee Stadium – offered a different version of events.
“The patron was attempting to gain forceful entry into a restricted area of the stadium which he did not have access to,” a spokesperson said.
“At the time of the incident, he was not accompanied by any children.”
The spokesperson said the nearest available toilets to Mr Carroll were 25 metres away from his seat, and said after repeated refusals to cooperate, he was asked to leave on his own.
“At no time was the patron’s daughter or family members requested to leave the stadium.”
A spokesperson for NSW Police told Yahoo News Australia security personnel originally spoke to the patron about “seating protocols”.
“Despite repeated requests the man was unwilling to cooperate and police assistance was sought.
“The man was spoken to by officers and after further refusals was escorted from the stadium.”
Football Federation Australia board member Joseph Carrozzi has said the FFA plans to investigate the incident.
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