Melbourne derby abandoned after violent pitch invasion

Football Australia has vowed “heavy penalties” will be imposed after an Australian A-League men’s Melbourne Derby between melbourne city and Melbourne Victory was abandoned to ensure player safety after a violent invasion of the pitch.

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Planning to stage a strike in the 20th minute to protest against the league’s administrators, the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), both groups of fans began throwing flares onto the pitch at AAMI Park before exiting, with one appearing to hit to a camera operator by broadcaster Red Diez.

Fans had set off sparklers and small fireworks for the previous 20 minutes, and City fans launched a series of projectiles onto the pitch to celebrate. aiden o’neill Opening at minute 11.

That started a spiraling series of events that saw the City keeper Tom Gloverattempting to clear a shell that had landed near him off the pitch, launching a flare off the pitch and back at Victory supporters, which then caused a large number of fans to storm the pitch in scenes reminiscent of the violence between Nice and Marseille. in 2021.

As fans rushed towards his position, Glover was struck on the head by a sand-filled metal bucket designed to extinguish flares thrown his way and was thrown off the pitch with blood pouring from the side of his head.

Referee Alex King also suffered a cut head from the thrown bucket, while the game’s umpire coach was pushed against the fence.

A Football Australia spokesperson described King as more shocked than injured, and he and his fellow officials were escorted to their cars by security to leave the stadium.

City officials said Glover needed stitches and was suspected of having a concussion after the incident.

Both sets of players and coaching staff, as well as match officials, rushed off the pitch, while the fans who remained on the surface concentrated on attacking the backboards and sponsors’ goals before being herded off the pitch by the members. Victoria Police Public Order Response Team.

After a long delay, the match was abandoned to ensure the safety of the players, the first time an A-Leagues match has been abandoned for such a reason.

The planned protests were in response to APL’s decision to sell hosting rights to its next three grand finals to Sydney as part of a partnership with Destination NSW.

There had already been demonstrations at the A-League Men and A-League Women games that had already taken place that weekend, but they were all peaceful in nature.

“The A-League Men’s match between Melbourne City FC and Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park has been abandoned as a result of the pitch invasion by Melbourne Victory fans and subsequent injuries to the Melbourne City goalkeeper. FC, Tom Glover, and match official Alex King,” said an A-Leagues statement.

“The Australian Professional League (APL) is coordinating with Football Australia regarding the ramifications of these events.”

The Australian A-Leagues are administered independently of Football Australia, but the national association remains the regulator of the game and enforces a national code of conduct.

“After shocking scenes during the first half of the Men’s A-League match between Melbourne Victory FC and Melbourne City FC at AAMI Park on Saturday December 17, where Melbourne Victory FC fans poured onto the pitch, Football Australia match officials have abandoned the match in accordance with Laws of the Game Act 5.3 to protect the integrity of the match,” Football Australia said in a statement.

“Such behavior has no place in Australian rules football, with a full Football Australia investigation due to begin immediately, where heavy sanctions will be imposed.”

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