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Three charged by Victoria Police for Melbourne derby pitch invasion

The Melbourne Derby on Saturday was called off due to crowd unrest, which also saw Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover being attacked. Meanwhile, three persons have been charged by Victoria Police in connection with the incident.

football Three charged by Victoria Police for Melbourne derby pitch invasion-ayh
First Published Dec 19, 2022, 4:22 PM IST

Australian football witnessed a dark day on Saturday when the highly combustible Melbourne Derby exploded with crowd unrest at AAMI Park. The tie between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City was called off after 20 minutes as fans rushed onto the pitch, ignited by flares thrown from both ends. While one of the flares hit a cameraman before it exploded, City goalkeeper Tom Glover threw one of the flares back into the crowd as the group behind his goal barged onto the pitch. He was hit with a metal bin, leaving him with a bloodied face and a concussion. Meanwhile, three persons have been charged by Victoria Police on the same.

As per Victoria Police, a 23-year-old guy was arrested for hitting Glover with the metal bin, while a couple of men, aged 18 and 19, were also charged with separate assaults on Glover. Also, the 19-year-old has been charged with assaulting a security official. The three men have been bailed and will appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 27.

ALSO READ: Football Australia 'horrified' at Melbourne Derby crowd unrest; promises strongest sanctions against culprits

The Victoria Police stated, “The charges come as detectives from the north-west metro regional crime squad continue to investigate the entire incident as part of Operation Astute. More than 150 football fans ran onto the field during Saturday night’s match after many flares were ignited and thrown through the crowd.”

Meanwhile, recalling the distasteful surroundings, Glover told Nine Network, “I think it is very disappointing for Australian football. I’m okay. I can’t train today because of protocols, but I’ll be back on the pitch tomorrow. The Socceroos [Australia men’s national side] were on a high, and we rode that wave. It was just a small minority which kind of ruins it.”


While Glover added that his “intentions were never to throw [the flare]” into the crowd, he further added, “The police are doing their thing. It’s just getting back on the pitch and ready for next week. Police will be chasing that up, so it’s kind of out of my control. Sanctions are out of my control. My main focus is helping Australian football go in the right direction and not giving it a bad light.”

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