Three charged after Melbourne derby invasion as Glover gives his say

By Sports Desk December 19, 2022

Three men have been charged by Victoria Police following the violent pitch invasion that forced Saturday's Melbourne derby to be abandoned.

The A-League clash between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City saw flares thrown by both sets of fans during the opening quarter of the contest at AAMI Park.

Trouble escalated when a flare appeared to hit a pitchside cameraman before exploding, with City goalkeeper Tom Glover throwing another flare back into the crowd.

Fans behind the goal stormed the pitch and Glover was hit in the face with a metal bucket, while referee Alex King was also struck, leading to the game being abandoned.

Football Australia chief James Johnson hit out at the "horrific" scenes and vowed to hand out the "harshest of punishments" to those involved.

Victoria Police confirmed on Monday that a 23-year-old has been arrested in relation to allegedly striking Glover with the sand-filled bucket.

The other two men are aged 18 and 19, with their charges relating to separate alleged assaults on Glover. The 19-year-old is also accused of assaulting a security guard.

All three men self-presented to police stations on Monday and have subsequently been bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates' Court on February 27.

"The charges come as detectives from the north west metro regional crime squad continue to investigate the entire incident as part of Operation Astute," said a police statement.

"More than 150 football fans ran on to the field during Saturday night's match after a significant number of flares were ignited and thrown through the crowd."

The charges come on the back of Glover, who was left with a cut to the side of his face and concussed, discussing the unsavoury scenes for the first time.

"I think it is very disappointing for Australian football in general," he told the Nine Network. "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 were kind of riding the wave of that. It was just a small minority which kind of ruins it.

Glover added that his "intentions were never to throw [the flare]" into the crowd, an incident that is being fully investigated by Football Australia and may lead to sanctions.

"The police are doing their thing. It's just getting back on the pitch and being ready for next week," he added. "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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