Australia’s raised terrorism threat level means football fans will see more police at AFL and NRL finals games.
Fans have been told not to worry about terrorism at the AFL and NRL finals and just enjoy the football.
“We certainly want people to enjoy the football if their teams are lucky enough to be in the grand final,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters on Friday.
“But what you almost certainly will notice is some additional security, the presence of perhaps somewhat more police than might otherwise be the case.”
Security will be increased at football finals in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Townsville this weekend, following the lift in Australia’s terrorism alert level from medium to high.
The new security arrangements will begin with Friday night’s AFL semi-final between Geelong and North Melbourne at the MCG.
“People going to the game will definitely see more police,” Victorian police chief commissioner Ken Lay said.
Across the road, AAMI Park will have similar arrangements on Sunday when Melbourne play Canterbury-Bankstown in their NRL elimination final.
NSW police and the NRL have been in discussions about increased security for the Manly and South Sydney NRL qualifying final at Allianz Stadium on Friday, but have not confirmed details.
Queensland deputy police commissioner Ross Barnett said fans at Saturday’s North Queensland and Brisbane game in Townsville would see more police, but not necessarily face bag searches or long delays.
WA acting commissioner Steve Brown said there would be a slightly stronger police presence on Saturday at the Patersons Stadium AFL match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide.
“We have no specific threat in regards to the football,” he said.
“If you’ve got a ticket, go to the football.”
Sydney Roosters NRL coach Trent Robinson said Australians understood big events needed to be secure.
“We’re in a great country, where the security is high, and they understand what it needs to take to ward off those dangers, so we put our trust in the NRL and the state government,” Mr Robinson said.
Australian Federal Police acting commissioner Andrew Colvin said police had well-worked plans for security at major sporting events.
“If people are fortunate enough to have tickets to the grand finals, or the finals for the football or any other sporting event, we encourage you to just go about your day as you would normally,” he said.