Orlando City takes action against fan misconduct, creates fan advisory council

Orlando City MLS logo

By MIKE GRAMAJO

Orlando City Soccer Club may not be in Major League Soccer just yet, but their march to a safer fan experience took another step on Monday.

In a letter issued to fans, club President Phil Rawlins announced the implementation of a fan advisory council and the suspension of 15 fans until December 2015.

The actions come in response to an incident at Al Lang Field earlier this month during a match against the Tampa Bay Rowdies that ended with four arrests and 16 fan ejections.

OCSC also indefinitely suspended its two largest supporter groups, The Ruckus and Iron Lion Firm, until the groups agree to a new MLS code of conduct. The punishment comes a week after Iron Lion members were thrown out of a July 12 home game for obscene chants and threatening front office members during halftime. The club then issued a statement regarding that incident. 

“Four fans were ejected for continuous use of inappropriate and offensive language,” Rawlins said in a statement. “Each of these individuals has subsequently been banned from attending future OCSC matches – home and away – until December 2015.”

One thing that stood out from the letter was that the Iron Lions are no longer recognized as an Orlando City supporter group after talks between the club and the group collapsed following the July 12 incident. Meanwhile, The Ruckus’ suspension was lifted after meeting with club officials to discuss the ongoing problems.

The push for a safer fan environment at Orlando City games also introduced the fan advisory council, which aims to bring together supporter groups and regular season ticket holders to enhance the game day experience.

“As we look ahead to the remainder of 2014 and toward our Major League Soccer debut in 2015, the Fan Advisory Council will play an integral role in helping our Club continue to defy expectations,” Phil Rawlins continued in the letter. “They will represent a thorough cross-section of our fan base – from seating section to demographics – ensuring we have proper representation to help us test innovations, provide feedback and maintain a fluid dialogue to ensure we continue to provide the best possible experience each and every match.”

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What do you think of this development? Do you think Orlando City is doing the right thing? Can you see fans losing interest in the club?

Share your thoughts below.

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22 Responses to Orlando City takes action against fan misconduct, creates fan advisory council

  1. OB Rick says:

    Everything is so PC and sterile in this country. Oh my God somebody said a bad word!

    • SilverRey says:

      Didn’t one of the guys punch a 14 year old? I think that goes a little beyond social acceptability.

  2. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    What happen to tHe Beasley report, it dessapeared :)
    By the way, Miami and Orlando might end up getting their stadium at the same time. Also,where are the Orlando, nycfc uniform renderings.
    Hopefully MLS all star week will gives us info on Orlando, Miami, nycfc, LA 2, dc and NE stadium.
    Not only that, but is San Antonio still in the running, is Minneapolis getting a stadium or going with the nfl owners, is LA 2 a real option, is Sacramento really a big option, same with Las Vegas.
    Is Columbus crew getting a new name ands MLS getting a new logo by next year.
    Will garber expand to 5 dps and raise salary cap.

  3. MLS_Fan says:

    RE: OB Rick … so you’re another self-centered whining pseudo-fan of MLS … I’m glad that OC is taking the time to include their self-proclaimed fan groups in the establishment of their supporter group behavioral requirements and holding their fans to a code of conduct … some fans who hope to copy the rude, juvenile and obscene behavior of some of the football “fans” in other countries w/in other sporting cultures can only hold back the acceptance of MLS into the mainstream sporting culture here in the USA … so try this – take 5 friends to any professional sports team (ie. MLB in the summer) in the nearest city, buy tickets, sit in your seats, and then see how long you can chant obscentities during the game before three or four guys named “Bubba” and “Tiny” ask you to stop … and then throw you out if you don’t … and have you arrested if you fight back … professional sports in the USA require their fans to behave appropriately and I’m glad that MLS is following along as it grows in popularity and exposure …

  4. Dace says:

    Pretty sure there was a physical altercation, or at least I thought that’s what I’d heard…

    I’m cool with taunting and antagonistic chants (“dos a cero” is the first to come to mind), but when it’s intentionally offensive/racist, then a line has been crossed. Any time there’s a physical element to the confrontation, it’s a serious matter.

  5. Stinky Pete says:

    World Cup where did you go? I must of been blacked out the last little bit. Guess it is back to reading MLS news.

  6. Raymon says:

    The presence of hooliganism is an (unwelcome) sign of (welcome) development of soccer in the USA. Now let’s see if we can have some game fixing, just to be sure we really arrived.

  7. Rooster says:

    Pretty lame that the orange slices at halftime and trophies for everybody mentality carries all the way to the “pros”
    Trying so hard to be like England.

  8. Carl says:

    Most serious fans are glad to see teams enforce some basic standards of behavior. Claiming that you are “Ultra” as if it gives you license to behave like a moron is childish, most of Europe has spent two or three decades trying to tamp down this ridiculous behavior.

    If you want to get drunk and get in a fight during a game, go to the NFL with all the other losers, leave MLS for actual soccer fans.

  9. Quit Wining About Soccer in the US says:

    Is there any dumber than the excuses offered up by guys defending rude and violent behavior ?

    Basically it is cool and
    Others do it

  10. Accidental Rodeo says:

    You’ll never be cool again, if you’re a hooligan.