A football match had to be abandoned in Australia after fans stormed the pitch and attacked the players.
The Melbourne derby was taking place in the A-League on Saturday (17 December). Melbourne City had taken an early lead against Melbourne Victory in the first half.
Trouble started to brew when flares were thrown onto the pitch. The Guardian reports that one flare appeared to hit a Channel 10 cameraman and then City goalkeeper Tom Glover picked up another and threw it back into the stand housing Victory supporters.
The ugly scenes broke out in the 22nd minute as fans stormed the pitch and City goalkeeper Glover was attacked with a metal bucket, which had been used to extingiush flares. Blood was drawn and he was left needing medical treatment.
Match referee Alex King was also injured in the incident. He was left with no choice but to pull the players off the pitch.
Melbourne City later tweeted: “Updated: Tom Glover is receiving medical treatment in the dressing room and likely has a concussion.” Before later confirming the match had been abandoned.
Why was the match abandoned?
The match was brought to a halt before it was officially abandoned in accordance with Law 5.3 of the Laws of the Game to “protect the integrity of the match.” Both sets of fans had planned to walk out in protest after Australian Professional Leagues (APL) set forth its plan to play the A-League Grand Final in Sydney for the next three years.
As well as the incident involving Glover, referee Alex King also appeared to be affected in the incident after he was covered with powder in the occurrence. In a statement, Football Australia said a “full investigation” would take place after the “shocking scenes” on Saturday.
The statement read: “Following shocking scenes during the first half of the A-League Men’s match between Melbourne Victory FC and Melbourne City FC at AAMI Park on Saturday 17 December, where fans from the Melbourne Victory FC end entered the field of play, Football Australia match officials have abandoned the match in accordance with Law 5.3 of the Laws of the Game in order to protect the integrity of the match.
“Such behaviour has no place in Australian Football, with a full Football Australia investigation to commence immediately, where strong sanctions will be handed down.”
More to follow.