Melbourne Victory have been blocked from selling tickets to home games while their fans cannot attend away fixtures under Football Australia’s (FA’s) initial sanctions for the violent derby pitch invasion. Victory were given a show cause notice after 150 spectators stormed the AAMI Park pitch in Saturday night’s A-League Men contest against Melbourne City, forcing the abandonment of the match.
Football Australia is yet to fully determine final sanctions as it has not completed the show cause process, but has put temporary measures in place until January 15. During that time, Victory fans are barred from attending their away men’s Boxing Day clash with Western United at AAMI Park.
City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered a concussion and facial laceration when he was hit with a metal bucket wielded by a pitch invader while referee Alex King, a TV cameraman and two security guards were also injured in the melee. Only United members and fans who had bought a ticket before 11am Friday can attend, with other tickets to be refunded and any related ticket operator charges are at Victory’s expense.
Tickets associated with a Victorian postcode or believed to be for Victory fans will be refunded. Only Victory members are able to attend their January 6 double-header, where the men play Brisbane Roar and the women play Perth Glory, with other tickets refunded.
Victory women host Canberra United on December 31 and play City away on January 14.The club’s home and away active areas have been closed. Melbourne City’s home and away active bays will also be cordoned off at home games until otherwise advised as FA reviews City supporters’ derby conduct.
Victoria Police earlier confirmed plans include ‘a highly visible police presence’ at the game. Victory fans also cannot attend away men’s games against Central Coast on New Year’s Eve or Adelaide United on January 14, with away bays to be closed. The game’s governing body will use the show cause process to consider ‘further sporting and financial sanctions’, which could include points deductions and fines, for Victory.
Two pitch invaders on Tuesday received life bans, while on Thursday another eight people were slapped with bans of between five and 20 years. About $150,000 worth of damage was caused to AAMI Park during the pitch invasion and about 80 flares or fireworks were set off, police say.
Victoria Police confirmed 29 people had been arrested over the pitch invasion, with 24 – including 11 men aged between 18 and 38 dealt with on Friday so far facing charges. A total of 36 people have so far been identified by police. FA has also handed out bans preventing the pitch invaders from attending or participating in football.