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

Melbourne City players are ushered from the field after crowd trouble during their game with Melbourne Victory
Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered a cut to his face and probable concussion

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

City goalkeeper Tom Glover was hit by a metal bucket after a large number of spectators ran on to the pitch in the 22nd minute, with flares also thrown.

The 24-year-old suffered a cut to his face and “likely has a concussion”, his club said.external-link

The game was initially suspended then abandoned on player safety grounds.

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

Fans of both Victory and City planned a walk-out on the 20-minute mark but the protest escalated after flares were thrown on to the pitch by both sets of fans.

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

A large number of fans then ran on to the pitch, with Glover was struck by a bucket that was used to dispose of flares, also covering him and the referee in powder and smoke.

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

A Football Australia statement said “strong sanctions” would be handed down after the “shocking scenes”.

“Such behaviour has no place in Australian football, with a full Football Australia investigation to commence immediately,” it added.

The incident has been widely criticised on social media.

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

“Not what football in this country needs and I hope whoever threw that bucket is banned from ever attending another A-League match.”

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