THE APL VIDEO: Alex King and Melbourne City goalkeeper, Tom Glover, assaulted with a bin by Melbourne Victory football fans and pitch invaders during A-League Men derby at AAMI Park KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

THE APL VIDEO: Alex King and Melbourne City goalkeeper, Tom Glover, assaulted with a bin by Melbourne Victory football fans and pitch invaders during A-League Men derby at AAMI Park

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it has it Alex King and Melbourne City goalkeeper, Tom Glover, assaulted with a bin by Melbourne Victory football fans at A-League Men derby at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Victory fans stormed the pitch moments after Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover threw a flare into the crowd, new footage has revealed.

The Melbourne Derby descended into chaos on Saturday night as fans - who were already furious with the A-League's decision to move the grand final to Sydney - invaded the pitch at AAMI Park on the 21st minute.

Picking up the flare that made its way onto the pitch, Glover launched it into the stand behind the goal and, within seconds, the fans broke through the advertising hoardings and onto the pitch. 

City confirmed that Glover has likely suffered a concussion and was receiving treatment in the dressing room. 

Since the A-League started in 2005, clubs have needed to earn the right to host the grand final based on how they performed in the finals series. The NSW decision flies in the face of A-League tradition. This week, supporter groups across the country have lashed out at the deal - worth $10million - and announced their intention to voice their opposition by leaving games on the 20-minute mark.

On Friday night, Newcastle Jets fans left in their droves during their side's 1-0 defeat by Brisbane Roar, with a banner reading: 'Fans > $$' displayed. 

Football Australia released a statement shortly after the game was abandoned, condemning the 'shocking scenes' that unfolded in Melbourne.

'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 to be handed down.'

Glover required stitches for the cut and officiating referee Alex King also sustained a cut to his right eyebrow during the wild and scary scenes when Victory fans stormed the pitch, although a Football Australia spokesperson said he was “more rattled than hurt”.

The referee match day coach was pushed into a fence as well, and all officials had to be escorted to their cars by security.

In a press release, Football Australia described the violence as “shocking” and that “such behaviour has no place in Australian Football”.

They also confirmed they would be conducting a full investigation immediately, “where strong sanctions to be handed down”.

So soon after Australian soccer was riding unprecedented highs following the incredible World Cup campaign from the Socceroos, it has sadly returned to the ‘bad old days’, plunging to new lows of fan violence.

Fans from both clubs hurled flares onto the pitch, but when Glover threw two flares back into the Victory fans area at the northern end, it sparked a wild reaction as approximately 100 Victory fans stormed the pitch, and encircled Glover in scary scenes.

Then one Victory fan grabbed a metal bucket and threw it into Glover’s face, instantly cutting the City goalkeeper’s face wide open.

In a low point for Australian soccer, it forced all the players and coaches to leave the pitch and technical area. Glover had to receive medical attention for his injuries.

Some of the invading Victory fans also jumped on the goals, seemingly in an attempt to tear them down.

About 40 minutes after the match was stopped, it was officially abandoned due to player safety “in accordance with Law 5.3 of the Laws of the Game in order to protect the integrity of the match.”

City players, including World Cup hero Jamie Maclaren, returned to the field without their match gear on, to thank their fans.

Tensions had been building throughout the night in the wake of the Australian Professional Leagues’ decision to give the A-League grand final to Sydney for the next three years.

Fans from both clubs had mooted that they would walk out of the stadium at the 20th minute in protest of the APL decision, but nobody could have anticipated the disgraceful scenes that occurred.

Moments before the Glover incident, a flare from the Victory fans area hit a Network Ten TV cameraman on the back, prompting him to turn around and throw his arms out, questioning why the fans were acting in that manner. He then left his post presumably for safety reasons.

The chaotic scenes forced a strong police response.

But the City fans at the southern end also behaved poorly.

After going up 1-0 in the 11th minute, City fans threw three flares onto the field, one of which was picked up by Victory goalkeeper Paul Izzo and placed down on the ground behind the goals.

In fact, the City fans brought the game to a halt when they threw scores of flares onto the pitch in the 20th minute, one of which burned a hole in the City net.

Prior to the game chants of “f*** the APL” rang around the stadium from both sets of fans.

The City fans held up banners that read: “Football Without Fans is Nothing!!” and “When Money Tak$ Fans Will Walk. APL Out”.

The Victory fans also held up signs that read: “APL Knows the demands. Football for the Fans (featuring eight dollar signs)” and “No More Lie$ Are we invisible fans?”

The Victory end also held up a sign with a pig wearing the letters “APL” surrounded by dollar bills, with the message “Look at Yourself” around it.

Prior to the stoppage, Victory fans had been sporadically letting off small fireworks into the air. Viewers called for the people who stormed the field to be given life bans and said it was an absolute disgrace the goodwill created by the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign had been erased in a matter of weeks.

Former soccer writer Ray Gatt tweeted: “OMG. That’s disgraceful. Simply awful. No way should players be subjected to what we have just seen.”

Commentator Simon Hill said: “And our fall from grace is complete. Like the World Cup never happened. Very sad & angry.”

Football analyst Daniel McBreen added: “From lovely football to absolutely disgraceful scenes. Protest is fine, THIS IS NOT!! The thugs that attacked Glover and Alex King should be arrested and face the full extent of the law.”

CODE Sports’ Lachlan McKirdy said: “Two weeks ago, the country was setting their alarms early to watch the Socceroos take on Argentina.

“Now, fans have stormed AAMI Park because of a misguided decision by the game’s governing body. Disgraceful scenes with players being assaulted. Just so disheartening”.

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