Injured keeper speaks after A-League pitch invasion

The FA have issued Melbourne Victory a show cause notice following Saturday's pitch invasion.

The FA have issued Melbourne Victory a show cause notice following Saturday's pitch invasion. Photo: AAP

A-League goalkeeper Tom Glover has spoken out for the first time after Saturday’s frightening pitch invasion that left him with a “severe laceration” to his face and concussion.

Glover returned to Melbourne City’s training on Monday with a large dressing protecting the stitches used to repair the cut to the side of his face.

He was hit by a metal bucket wielded by a pitch invader, while and referee Alex King was also injured and a Network 10 cameraman was earlier hit by a flare after fans from Melbourne Victory’s active area stormed the AAMI Park pitch on Saturday night.

The pitch invasion was sparked after Glover tossed a flare back into the crowd, sparking anger among fans.

The A-League Men match was eventually abandoned. Melbourne Victory also faces the prospect of a points deduction and playing games behind closed doors after Football Australia officially slapped the club with a show cause notice for its fans’ violence.

Duo surrenders to police over pitch invasion

On Monday, Glover expressed disappointment at the position Australian football found itself in, just two weeks after the Socceroos’ impressive World Cup run ended.

“The incident is disappointing for Australian football itself,” Glover told the Nine Network.

“The Socceroos were unbelievable and [we were] hopefully riding the wave of that, but a small minority kind of ruins it.”

Victoria Police acting superintendent Jason Goddard described Saturday’s incident as shocking and disgraceful.

“I was at the game and I’ve watched the vision of what happened a number of times and see the behaviour as disgusting,” he said.

“Detectives from our North West Metro Regional Crime Squad are working hard and I have no doubt we’ll be knocking on a few doors soon.”

Acting Superintendent Goddard said there were 134 police at AAMI Park for Saturday’s match. That’s more than would usually be at events at the MCG, which has a much bigger capacity.

“That should be enough for any game,” he said.

“We knew there were inherent risks due to some of the fan behaviour in previous weeks.”

Images of nine men sought by police were released on Sunday night.

Police have released images of nine people they are seeking in relation to Saturday’s ugly violence. Photo: AAP

The perpetrators appear likely to receive life bans. By Monday afternoon, four men had been identified after coming forward to police.

One was reportedly the man accused of throwing the bucket at Glover, while another had been pictured waving a flare.

“This is a small group of perpetrators that don’t love football, that don’t love the A-League and that don’t love Melbourne Victory,” A-Leagues boss Danny Townsend told Seven Network’s Sunrise.

“We’ve got to weed them out and we’ve got to make sure that what happened on Saturday night never happens again

“It was disgraceful. It was a small group of individuals that used the Melbourne derby as a platform to demonstrate anti-social and illegal behaviour.

“It wasn’t just an assault on a player or an official or a cameraman, it was an assault on the football family.”

Football Australia has confirmed repercussions for Victory could include “financial penalties, loss of competition points and/or playing matches behind closed doors, or on neutral territory”.

“As we made clear on Saturday evening following the abandonment of the match, we will move quickly to properly investigate this matter and where appropriate, issue the strongest possible sanctions to the club and individuals involved,” FA chief executive James Johnson said.

“The show cause notice following our initial investigations is the next step in the process and will allow us to gather more crucial information.”

– with AAP

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