Spectators stormed the pitch amid utter chaos during the A-League contest between Melbourne City and melbourne win in AAMI Parkwith video footage showing former Tottenham goalkeeper Glover being hit by a metal bucket thrown dangerously by a fan encroaching on the pitch.
Glover was left with his face cut and bloody, and his club tweeted that the player had likely suffered a concussion and was receiving further treatment for the injury in the dressing room.
Glover had stitches and was then taken to the hospital for scans and follow-up checks.
The bucket, used to dispose of flares, also appeared to hit referee Alex King, who was left covered in ash as he immediately suspended play. The decision was quickly made to abandon it entirely in the interest of player safety, as police and security services were needed to restore order after an embarrassing episode in difficult times for Australian rules football.
More video footage then surfaced which appeared to show Glover launching a flare that fans had thrown in his direction behind the goal back into the Victory section of the crowd, from where the pitch invasion took place.
Both sets of fans fired flares onto the field throughout the night, with one hitting a television cameraman.
Football Australia has now committed to a full investigation with heavy punishments promised for those involved in the disturbing scenes on Saturday.
“Such behavior has no place in Australian rules football, with a full Football Australia investigation due to begin immediately, where heavy sanctions will be imposed,” they said in a statement.
In their own statement, Melbourne Victory said they were “devastated” by the scenes that did not take place in football, as they also promised a full investigation and apologized to those affected, including Glover.
“Tonight Melbourne Victory Football Club is devastated. The Club unequivocally condemns the actions of the fans at Saturday night’s game against Melbourne City at AAMI Park,” the club said.
“The actions that occurred, which saw spectators enter the pitch and injure a Melbourne City FC player, an official and a Network Ten cameraman, are not acceptable under any circumstances and have no place in football. The safety and well-being of everyone involved in a football match is paramount and the Club will not accept this behaviour.
“The Club would like to formally apologize to Tom Glover, match official, Alex King and the camera operator, as well as all the players, officials and those who witnessed the appalling behaviour.
“This conduct will not be tolerated and the Club, together with AAMI Park and Victoria Police, will undertake a full investigation into the incident.
“Melbourne Victory would like to reiterate that there is no place in football for what was seen tonight.”
A-League leaders Melbourne City were leading a heavily charged 1-0 derby at the time of the incident after Aiden O’Neill’s tremendous early goal.
Tensions had been high throughout the week leading up to the match, with fans on both sides planning to come out in the 20th minute to protest the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) management of the A-League, particularly the recent decision controversial. sell the men’s and women’s grand finals to Sydney in a deal worth $12 million.
The finals are normally played on the grounds of the highest ranked teams.
Fans chanted “F**k the APL” throughout the game on Saturday night and directed their growing anger at APL CEO Danny Townsend with protest banners visible in various areas of the field carrying messages such as ” When money talks, the fans will.” walk”, “APL knows the demands, football for the fans” and “APL out”.
After the match was abandoned, the APL said: “The Australian Professional League (APL) is coordinating with Football Australia (FA) regarding the ramifications of these events.” .