The incoming Major League Soccer team in Orlando is cracking down on the conduct of their fans, The Orlando Sentinel reported.
After sixteen fans were ejected and four were arrested during a road game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Orlando City Soccer Club founder president Phil Rawlins wrote a letter to the fans that was posted on the team website, noting the suspensions and other fan conduct policies.
A portion of Rawlins' letter:
"Orlando City is proud of the reputation it has built in the community and will not allow a small number of fans involved in unsavory behavior to tarnish our organization. For these reasons the Club, following consultation with local law enforcement and Major League Soccer, has taken immediate action which includes [but is not limited to] the following steps:
"Both current Supporter Groups - The Ruckus & Iron Lion Firm - have been indefinitely suspended pending their agreement to a new Fan Code of Conduct which follows MLS Supporter Group guidelines;
"All privileges associated with being a Supporter Group (e.g., use of drums, flags, large banners, etc.) are temporarily suspended. The Club is in the process of implementing new guidelines to become a “Recognized Supporter Group” which will involve privileges (such as use of drums, flags, large banners, etc.) for those groups that comply in the future;
"A copy of the new Fan Code of Conduct is being distributed to all fans."
Orlando City will join MLS in 2015.
- Sarah Barshop