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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Media - Blatant Lie & Spin

Friday Evening, on the 8th of December 2006, Melbourne Victory FC played Sydney FC in the 2006/2007 Australian League competition. The game was one of the most important games for both clubs. A win for Melbourne means they were virtually winning the Premiership. A loss for Sydney means, not only were they beaten by their main rival, but also possible drop of their position in the league. The game eventually finished with a 0-0, and the crowds, 50,333 people, were a new milestone for football club competition in Australia, the highest ever in a regular season.

Once the game finished, a group of Melbourne Victory FC fans gathered outside gate 7, taunting a small group of Sydney FC fans. Police ordered both sets of fans to move on peacefully but the two groups failed to obey the police. When situation became a bit heat up, police released pepper spray and arrested 3 Melbourne fans for showing anti social behaviour, failing to move on when ordered by police. So the story started.

The next morning, Channel Nine broadcasted the "riots" after the game in one of their morning news. A bloke was interviewed by the station. The bloke admited that he was one of the "fans" and he talked about the "riots" and describe how he felt "unsafe" while watching soccer. He then displayed a footage of his mobile phone video, showing people who were chanting "Come on Melbourne, Come on Melbourne" as being rioting. Funnily, I was in the game and went home safely without any fear of riot whatsoever and do did 50,000 other people.

The pic above is taken when he was being interviewed. Apparently he is Sean Sowerby. So who is Sean Sowerby?

Sean Sowerby is one of the producers of the 3AW radio station. He was voted the Best Newcomer Off Air in the 2006 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (see page 2 of the link). His programme, "3AWSport" is famous for broadcasting the AFL Games. 3AW is also well-known for "not liking" football (soccer) and they never broadcast any news on the A-League. Eventhough they are based in Melbourne and Melbourne Victory FC has been playing very well this season, they don't think it is worthy of a news for them.

So, let's pause for a moment and think of this situation, a producer of a sport programme in a radio station that never want to touch anything about football (soccer), then suddenly he said he went to the stadium and watched the game, but then he told people "he is one of the fans" and talked about riot in football game and how he felt unsafe, isn't something fishy going on here?

I am pretty sure this was a blatant lie and spin by a major media to undermine the image of football (soccer) in Australia. A lie like this is mostly like not the only case. May be it happens on other issues around us too and we don't realise it at all. Beware!

More coverage of this blatant lie can be found here:

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