Melbourne Victory given show cause notice by Football Australia after derby riot

Melbourne Victory matches could be played without fans behind closed doors as one penalty after Football Australia issued the club a show cause notice following the “horrific” pitch invasion during Saturday’s A-League derby with Melbourne City.

Victory could face financial penalties, loss of competition points and be potentially forced to play matches behind closed doors or on neutral territory as a result of the incident in which more than 150 spectators rushed onto AAMI Park, forcing the match to be abandoned after just 22 minutes.

The show cause notice has been sent after Football Australia reviewed all available footage and imagery from the match and received detailed incident and match reports from the match commissioner, match officials, AAMI Park management and the Australian Professional Leagues.

Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said the incident tarnished the reputation of football, Melbourne Victory and A-League fans.

“What we all witnessed on Saturday night can only be described as horrific and conduct that is not consistent with the values of Australian football nor the expectations of our community,” expressed Johnson.

“I have personally contacted Melbourne City goalkeeper, Thomas Glover, and match official, Alex King, over the weekend. Understandably, they are both shaken and are recovering from the injuries they received, and Football Australia has offered them both support.

“Our football stadiums must be safe places for our community to enjoy the game they love and our players and match officials to ply their trade. Football Australia had a responsibility to intervene as soon as the match was called off to ensure this matter was addressed with the full regulatory and disciplinary powers at our disposal.

“The offenders who entered the field of play on Saturday night, causing havoc and assaulting a player, official and cameraman, have no place in our game. They are not welcome, and we will do everything we can to identify them and impose the sanctions they deserve.

“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 before making our determination.”

Football Australia says it will continue to work with Victoria Police and stadium security to identify individuals and ensure they are subject to banning procedures and possible criminal charges.

The status of match and its outcome will be decided at a later date.

Originally published as Melbourne Victory could play games behind close doors after show cause notice issued

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