February 9, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

A-League: Melbourne City-Melbourne Victory game abandoned after a spectator injured a player

Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered a cut to his face and likely concussion

The A-League derby between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory was abandoned after a player was injured in a pitch invasion by a spectator.

City goalkeeper Tom Glover was hit by a metal bucket after a large number of spectators ran onto the field in the 22nd minute, flares also being thrown.

The 24-year-old suffered a laceration to his face and ‘probably has a concussion’. his club said.external link

The game was initially suspended and then canceled due to player safety concerns.

Supporter protests were planned at the game after the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) announced their decision to sell the rights to the A-League Grand Final to Sydney for the next three years.external link

Victory and City fans planned a walkout after 20 minutes, but the protest escalated after both fans threw flares onto the field.

According to Melbourne newspaper The Age.external-link, City were 1-0 up when Glover appeared to toss a flare back towards the crowd at AAMI Park

A large number of fans then ran onto the field, with Glover being hit by a bucket used to dispose of flares, also engulfing him and the referee in powder and smoke.

The players, including former Portugal and Manchester United winger Nani, were immediately taken off the field and Football Australia said the game was abandoned “to protect the integrity of the game”.

A statement from Football Australia said “heavy sanctions” would be imposed after the “shocking scenes”.

“Such behavior has no place in Australian football and a full investigation into Football Australia is to begin immediately,” he added.

The incident drew widespread criticism on social media.

“This is an absolute disgrace from the Melbourne Victory fans,” wrote the Western United left-back Ben Garuccio.external link

“Not what football needs in this country and I hope whoever threw that bucket gets banned from playing another A-League game.”

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