An Australian A-League game turned sour after supporters invaded the pitch
The Australian A-League derby match between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory was abandoned on Saturday after fans invaded the pitch and attacked City goalkeeper Tom Glover.
Glover, 24, was attacked in the 22nd minute after fans entered the pitch from behind his goal. He was struck on the head with a metal bucket, leaving him with a bloody injury.
The player likely suffered a concussion in the incident, his club said in a statement.
Referee Alex King was also injured in the fracas, with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) adding in their own statement that he “found himself engulfed by fans” during the violent scenes.
However, the APL did not elaborate on the extent of King’s injuries.
This was the chaotic moment when the 🇦🇺 @aleaguemen derby between @MelbourneCity and @gomvfc was called off after a pitch invasion, which saw goalkeeper Tom Glover receiving a nasty gash to the face. pic.twitter.com/cZLFMj6MP4ADVERTISEMENT
— ESPN Asia (@ESPNAsia) December 17, 2022
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) December 17, 2022
The game was initially suspended before being abandoned amid ongoing concerns for players’ safety had it been resumed. Former Manchester United star Nani was among the players ushered down the tunnel amid the chaos.
Supporters of both clubs had planned a 20th minute walkout from the stadium in protest at APL plans to award the rights for the showpiece A-League Grand Final fixture to Sydney for the next three years.
But the protest took a turn soon after flares were thrown and fans stormed the pitch. Reports indicated that the violence began after Glover threw a flare that had landed near him back towards supporters while City were leading the match 1-0.
Football Australia Statement.https://t.co/avJnDN4BkS
— Football Australia (@FootballAUS) December 17, 2022ADVERTISEMENT
A statement from Football Australia indicated that “strong sanctions” would be handed down as a result of the violence.
“Such behavior has no place in Australian football, with a full Football Australia investigation to commence immediately,” it added.
December 17, 2022 at 08:36PM