Sydney FC fan Rory Carroll became the news of Sunday night’s football final as he and his 11-year-old daughter Mia — who suffers from Down’s syndrome — were escorted out of the ground with other members of his family and a friend of his daughter’s.
The footage of Mr. Carroll’s interactions with police and security went viral on Sunday night amid claims and counterclaims of wrongdoing on both sides.
He alleges among other things that he was “assaulted” by security guards and followed to a local McDonald’s by police for trying to take his disabled daughter to the nearest toilet at the southern Sydney venue.
Police allege this was not the case at all and that he was trying to access a “better selection” of beers for himself, while denying that his treatment by officers and stadium security was “heavy-handed”.
10 Uniformed Police and 4 security guards evict a father who wanted to take his disabled daughter to the closest toilet. @ALeague @9NewsSyd @SydneyFC #SYDvMVC #BigBlue #ALeague pic.twitter.com/MdXZSCv2Rq
Speaking on ABC’s 7.30 program Mr Carroll has again relayed his version of events and clarified a previous incident that was reported by 2UE’s Ben Fordham on Monday, where he was suspended, Fordham claims, from ANZ Stadium for a year.
“I’ve got some new information about the man who was kicked out of the ground, I can reveal that he has previously been banned from another ground,” Fordham said.
“He was punted from ANZ Stadium back in 2017 and not only was he punted, he was banned from re-entering the Stadium for 12 months.
“So it doesn’t look like what happened over the weekend was a one-off incident. He seems to have a problem with authority when he’s at the football.”
7.30 showed the footage of the previous incident and Mr. Carroll again claimed he was singled out by police and security in the 2017 issue.
“I was told to move from a position where I was standing, waiting to shake the players hand — and I said ‘I am not moving’, there were kids and other people waiting and they singled me out,” Carroll said.
“Just a huge amount of police officers and it was quite absurd.”
The incident mirrors the one from the weekend where video released on social media showed a large police presence as he was escorted out of the stadium with his family.
“That’s the usual bathroom that she uses and comfort is important for a child with special needs — routine, familiarity, you want to make things easier for them if it’s possible and that’s all I was doing,” he told 7.30.
“I went down to the gate and said ‘I needed to check something’ they (security) grabbed hold of my arm, as I tried to go past them they let go of my arm I went to check the bathroom and came back.”
That’s when Mr Carroll alleges police surrounded his group and the eviction followed, greatly upsetting his child.
“She was crying inside the stadium, I had to stop to comfort her and stop to comfort her friend; they were both very upset.”
Asked if he was drinking Carroll again said it was not the case and was told him taking a photo, was “disruptive”.
“No, I wasn’t drinking, I was drinking Coca Cola, whether there was a greater selection of beer or not, my reason for going in there was to check the bathroom for my daughter.
“I took a photo, I don’t know if taking a photo is truly disruptive but that is for you to decide.
“I do think there is an apology that is in order.”
It would appear he might be unlikely to receive that apology he is seeking from authorities after on Monday they claimed Mr Carroll was actually wanting to get his hands on a better selection of beers.
However Mr Carroll had already tweeted to say that he wasn’t drinking last night, saying the suggestion that he had been was “disgraceful”.
Football Federation Australia said there were inconsistencies in the account provided by Mr Carroll and four separate incident reports from stadium security and that investigations are continuing.