Football Australia takes action against Victory as pitch invaders identified

Nobody is mentioning this but I suspect that there were ethnic rivalries behind this riot. Some Melbourne clubs do have a substantial fan base of people from the former Yugoslavia and the manager of Melbourne Victory is Tony Popovic, which is a Balkan surname. So was one side of this riot principally Croatians? Those of us who know Croatians will think of the Ustasha

UPDATE: My guess was right. Below see a photo of one of the rioters released by the police. The slogan on his shirt is in Cyrillic

Melbourne Victory have been hit with a 'show cause' notice by Football Australia after fans invaded the pitch on Saturday night and assaulted Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover. The Victory are facing the prospect of a points deduction and playing games behind closed doors after the atrocious scenes.

The match was abandoned after spectators stormed the field and attacked Glover after he tossed a flare into the stands that had found its way onto the field. Glover was left with a cut on his face after being hit with a metal bucket, while referee Alex King and a Network 10 cameraman were also injured in the chaos.

It came after a week of outrage in Australian football after the men's and women's A-League grand finals were sold to Sydney for the next three years. Fans were expected to stage protests and walk-outs at last weekend's games, but not invade the pitch and turn violent.

On Monday, Football Australia officially slapped the Victory with a show cause notice. FA gave the club until 9am AEDT on Wednesday to show why they "should not face serious sanctions for bringing the game into disrepute through the conduct of its supporters".

FA said the possible sanctions could include "financial penalties, loss of competition points and/or playing matches behind closed doors, or on neutral territory". FA chief executive James Johnson said in a statement: "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. The show cause notice following our initial investigations is the next step in the process and will allow us to gather more crucial information."

The pitch invaders appear likely to receive lifetime bans. As of Sunday, two men had been identified after coming forward to police.


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