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Melbourne Victory hit with record FA sanctions post pitch invasion chaos during derby

Last month, the Melbourne Derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City saw crowd unrest, leading to the contest's postponement. Meanwhile, Victory has been handed a substantial sanction by the FA.

football Melbourne Victory hit with record FA sanctions post pitch invasion chaos during derby-ayh
First Published Jan 10, 2023, 3:22 PM IST

Last month, Australian football was in chaos when an A-League derby between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City saw crowd unrest. A pitch invasion, followed by an attack on City goalkeeper Tom Glover, ruined the match, which saw flares being thrown, while a cameraman and referee Alex King were also hit. Following an investigation by Football Australia (FA), the FA has hit Victory with a record sanction of $550,000. The club has also been imposed with a ten-point suspended deduction and a limitation of fan attendance for contests, considering that Victory brought the game to a halt.

Earlier, Victoria Police charged 30 people for the incident. At the same time, the fans are now restricted from sitting behind the goalpost in the North End of AAMI Park for the season's remainder, whereas no away area would be given to its away supporters during this term. Meanwhile, the Vucks asserted that it would "comply with all sanctions handed down by FA".

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In a statement, FA declared, "The suspended 10-point deduction – ending at the end of the 2025-26 Isuzu UTE A-League season – may be triggered for each instance of serious supporter misconduct during this term and the subsequent three campaigns." Also, the derby would resume on April 23 from the 22nd minute, with City leading 1-0.

FA CEO James Johnson termed the behaviour by Victory fans as "inexcusable" and that the club "committed a serious breach of our rules and regulations". "The sanctions we have issued against Melbourne Victory are the heaviest in the A-League era. These sanctions reflect our desire to remove this behaviour, and those that perpetuate it, from our game," he said, reports FotMob.

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"The field of play is sacred, and the safety of our players and match officials is paramount. Those individuals illegally entered the field of play, caused damage, and verbally and physically assaulted players and officials, crossed the line. We have worked closely with Victoria Police to identify these individuals and will continue to do so to ensure those that display anti-social and criminal behaviour at football events are not involved in our game in any way," concluded Johnson.

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