Aussie racist fans under scanner

Melbourne,Oct 19: Fearing a reprisal of the alleged 'racist' taunts hurled at Andrew Symonds by the Indian fans, Australian authorities have warned of strict action against such parochial elements.

Cricket Australia has expressed confidence that truant spectators would be caught if they racially-abused Indian cricket team which is scheduled to be play four Tests down under this summer.

The authorities have also reportedly made it very clear that the fans using racist taunts against the subcontinent visitors will have no place to hide.

Cricket Australia anti-racism officer Peter Young has issued a statement saying the security arrangements at Australian venues are already in place and that offenders are bound to be caught.

"We do have mechanisms in place for people who do step across the line from boisterous to unacceptable (behaviour)," Young said.

There's no place to hide at an Australian venue, he told Newscorp newspapers. We invest a lot of money on crowd monitoring.

The closed circuit television is very, very sophisticated, Peter Young added.

Sri Lankan cricketers would also join Australia and India for a tri-series of one day games and also two Tests against the hosts.

A professional security analyst Sean Carroll has conducted a review of the anti-racism strategy for Cricket Australia. The security specialist has concluded that the spectators not complying with anti-racism guidelines would be identified and dealt with according to the Australian laws.

The Cricket Australia security officer is also reportedly working with all the cricket games hosting states on detailed plans to keep racism out of the cricket venues.

The alleged racial abuse of the only non-white Australian cricketer Andrew Symonds by Mumbai crowd during the last one-day international, observers feel, has made the situation worse.

It is expected that the local fans would resort to payback tactics against the visitors from the subcontinent.

Australian fans also have a dubious record against the Sri Lankans as far as racial taunts or abuse is concerned.

While Australian captain Ricky Ponting has been doing his very best to label all Indian cricket fans racist, some Australian media reports have mentioned how badly Sri Lankan off spinner Muttaiah Muralidharan had been treated on his various trips down under.

India is scheduled to tour Australia for four Tests, the first test is beginning on 26 December at Melbourne.


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Story first published: Friday, October 19, 2007, 8:32 [IST]
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