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A Note On Away Support

Many of us are about to embark on an epic trip across the continent visiting several grounds, and tons more are going to enjoy the 2 remaining Cascadia away games. Please read the following and take it to heart.

When you wear the colours of our team in a different town, you are the face of the Southsiders and of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 99.9% of the time we will be having a great time and nothing will go wrong, but there is the 0.1% just waiting to happen. Please don’t let that be you.

By all means party, but know your limits. Don’t be the person that gets refused entry or tossed because you can’t stand on your own, or gets hurt by bailing hard in the stands/stairwells. If you see someone in rough shape, help them out or make a point of finding a tour host/director so we might help them.

Most people you meet will be awesome, and understand that away fans are a barometer of the MLS’ success, but you will encounter hostile idiots. Don’t sink to their level! If you can, diffuse the situation. If not, walk away. Please don’t lower yourself and respond in kind and escalate a confrontation. This goes for away fans here as well: they should be considered valued guests. By all means give them a ribbing, but do so in good humour, and always extend hospitality. At the end of the day we want them to go home sad their team lost, but glad they came and enjoyed our city and our friendship.

If that last bit is at all unclear: The Southsiders are not hooligans or Ultras. We do not want to see fear or violence at all, especially if it’s related to football. We stand with our brother and sister supporter groups in solidarity and friendship. We have rivals, not enemies.

At all times consider your personal reputation, and that of the Southsiders, our team and city. Consider your personal safety and that of the rest of your fellow supporters, no matter who they cheer for. Remember that the MLS and many in the various front offices look at us as a powder keg, and while they are loving the atmosphere we bring, they are waiting for the ignition point. Keep in mind that they can and will hamper our ability to enjoy these trips given half a reason. Don’t be the one who supplies that reason.

Know that if you are involved in a situation that casts the Southsiders or Vancouver Supporters and Whitecaps FC in a negative light, there will be repercussions. We will, as a group, co-operate with MLS and its agents, security and law enforcement. You will face sanctions, such as being refused further tour opportunities with the group, or outright expulsion from our ranks. Absolutely no one wants to see this happen, so please, take personal responsibility for keeping our party fun and drama free.

Thank you.
Brett Bird
Ombudsman