A-League boss Danny Townsend has applauded AAMI Park’s decision to implement facial recognition technology as part of a security upgrade for the Melbourne venue.
The technology will be ready before the start of the new A-League season next month.
It’s a development that has pleased Townsend after several Melbourne Victory fans were banned – some for life – following last December’s pitch invasion at AAMI Park 20 minutes into a derby between the Victory and Melbourne City.
“Anything that will ensure a safe environment for our fans we welcome,” Australian Professional Leagues chief executive officer Townsend said.
“Similar technology is already in place at other venues around Australia, and we’re glad AAMI Park is following suit.”
The technology will help prevent individuals banned by the APL and Football Australia from entering the venue, as well as those believed to pose a threat to the “safety, security, or integrity of the event, venue, or precinct”.
Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie also welcomed the new technology at AAMI Park.
“We have had an enormous amount of feedback from our members and fans around stadium security measures and how we can ensure a safe environment for everyone to enjoy our games,” Carnegie said in a statement.
“As a club, we are pleased that AAMI Park will have improved security measures in place this season.
“We are extremely excited for the season ahead and look forward to our members and fans supporting our boys and girls in blue and creating an atmosphere that rivals what we witnessed during the recent Women’s World Cup.
“We want an atmosphere that is representative of everything we love about football and that enables us all to represent our club together.”