Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Melbourne club Victory fined for pitch encroachment

MELBOURNE, Australia ( Associated Press) — Victory Melbourne will be unable to sell tickets for its home games and fans will not be able to attend the club’s away games due to initial sanctions imposed by Football Federation Australia for violent on-field aggression.

The victory came under focus after 150 spectators flocked to the AAMI Park pitch during last Saturday’s match against Melbourne City in the A-League, leading to the cancellation of the game.

City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered a concussion and lacerations to his face after being hit by an intruder with a metal bucket on the pitch. Referee Alex King, a television cameraman and two security guards were also injured.

The Australian Football Federation has not determined final restrictions but on Friday introduced temporary measures that will remain in place until January 15.

During this time, Victory fans will not be able to attend Monday’s match against Western United at AAMI Park.

Only United members and fans who have purchased their tickets prior to 11am on Friday will be able to attend and any remaining tickets will be required to be returned.

Victoria Police previously confirmed that their plans included a “highly visible police presence” during the match.

Victory supporters will also be unable to attend the men’s away games against Central Coast and Adelaide United on New Year’s Eve on 14 January.

The federation’s chief executive, James Johnson, said there would be additional restrictions.

“In addition to these immediate sanctions there will be a combination of financial and sporting measures that will come into effect over the next week or two,” Johnson said.

“We recognize that if we were to introduce a full ban, we would not only particularly affect those individuals whose conduct is unacceptable, but in particular many families who are good fans and whom we welcome into football.”

Victoria Police confirmed 29 people have been arrested or charged with trespassing, and of that number 24 have been charged, including 11 men aged between 18 and 38, who were charged on Friday was accused. The police have so far identified 36 accused.

The federation banned pitch invaders from attending or participating in football-related activities. Two were banned for life on Tuesday and eight were banned for five and 20 years on Thursday.

Nation World News Desk
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