The A-League match between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City was forced to be abandoned after a brawl broke out following a shocking clash between fans and players, with one player being struck in the face with a metal bin. The game was halted with the score at 1-0 to Victory in the Melbourne derby as tempers became heated, with supporters spilling out onto the pitch and attacking goalkeeper Thomas Glover.
The incident appeared to have been sparked after a missile was launched in the direction of Glover, Melbourne City’s goalkeeper, as he went to retrieve the ball for a goal kick. Footage circulating around social media appeared to show the Australian then hurling the flare back into the crowd where it came from.
Within seconds, a number of fans managed to breach the advertising hoardings and ran onto the pitch to confront Glover before his team-mates had realised.
The referee then ran over in an attempt to protect the goalkeeper, only for one spectator – carrying a metal object that looked to be a metal bin – was seen striking Glover over the head, with the keeper being left bloodied from the incident.
Glover could be seen clutching his head as hundreds of fans spilled out onto the pitch, before the 24-year-old was led through the crowd and down the tunnel by his colleagues, looking unstable as he walked off.
Players from each bench sprinted over to try and calm the situation before it spiralled out of control. The referee Alex King was then approached by some fans and proceeded to run towards the tunnel, needing to be escorted off the pitch, as bedlam ensued on the field at AAMI Park.
The match was suspended after 21 minutes at 1-0, with Melbourne City leading after Aidan O’Neill’s early strike, before it was later abandoned altogether due to the extreme situation.
While Melbourne Victory were yet to address the incident on social media at the time of writing, City tweeted an update regarding Glover’s condition after the match had been brought to a halt.
“Tom Glover is receiving medical treatment in the dressing room and likely has a concussion,” a tweet from the club’s official account read. City later posted an update, confirming the match had been abandoned: “The match has been called off.”
The Isuzu A-League’s own report on the ugly scenes in Melbourne suggested that fans had reacted angrily in response to the decision to move the next three A-Leagues Grand Finals to Sydney.
“Prior to the match, both sets of active fans had threatened to walk out to voice their protest at an announcement to move the next three A-Leagues Grand Finals to Sydney,” it read. “But the unprecedented scenes, which threatened the safety of players, officials and staff, saw play abandoned and players rushed up the tunnel.”