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Australian Football Turns Violent After150 Stormed the Pitch

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Australian Football Turns Violent

This week, Australian football has been rocked by violence at a derby match between two of the country’s biggest clubs. Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover was allegedly struck with a metal bucket during a pitch invasion by fans on Saturday, leaving blood streaming down his face.

The warm glow cast by Australia’s heroic World Cup campaign – in which the Socceroos of Australian Football reached the last 16 – had faded in a few chaotic moments.

“It was disgusting. I was shocked “The chair of Professional Footballers Australia, Francis Awaritefe, told the BBC. “My heart sank because it was just really sad after the highs of the World Cup, where the Australian team performed so well and brought the country together.”

What began as a fan protest against the decision to break with tradition and relocate the national men’s and women’s competitions to Sydney devolved into an uncontrollable melee at AAMI Park as Melbourne Victory faced rivals Melbourne City. The match was called off, and the inquest began immediately.

“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 or the expectations of our community,” said James Johnson, the governing body’s head.

Australian Football Turns Violent After150 Stormed the Pitch

Both sets of fans were throwing flares onto the field. When City goalkeeper Glover picked up a flare from the turf and threw it back into the stand where Victory’s most ardent supporters had gathered, the situation appeared to escalate.

It appeared to have sparked the frenzy. Dozens of people poured onto the ground in a wave of disorder rarely, if ever, seen at an Australian football match. Two security guards and a TV camera operator were also hurt, and referee Alex King was hit by a bucket as well. Arrests have already been made, and more may be made.

At least 150 people, according to police, had made their way onto the pitch.

“The game cannot spin its way out of this,” says Mr Awaritefe. “If there are fringe elements who have joined the game, we must categorically reject them. Then we must use law enforcement to ensure that these people are removed.”

Craig Foster, a former Socceroo, told Australian television that the sport’s reputation had been tainted.

“It’s shameful and embarrassing, and it comes at the end of an incredible month for the game,” he said.

“It’s been a huge high, with literally hundreds of thousands of fans gathering at live sites across the country to watch the Socceroos, and that togetherness and unity was so beautiful. And then to see this… it’s like going from heaven to hell for a brief moment.”

Australian Football Turns Violent After150 Stormed the Pitch

The game is in damage control mode, but no one knows what the long-term implications will be. Melbourne Victory of Australian Football is facing sanctions as a result of the actions of a small number of its fans.

The club may be fined, lose competition points, or be forced to play games behind closed doors.

Football in Australia has unrivaled participation by girls, boys, and adults, but it lags behind the rugby codes, Australian Rules football, and cricket at the elite level. Australia has arguably never fully embraced its national football competition.

The A-League was established in 2005 to replace the National Soccer League. There are 12 teams in total, with 11 from Australia and one from New Zealand.

It is played in the summer to avoid scheduling conflicts with the majority of the other heavyweights, but average attendance is well below 10,000. Saturday’s events in Melbourne could fuel even more discontent at the grassroots level.

“The A-League has been on a downward trend for some time. Even though it is the most popular sport in the country, it was struggling prior to the World Cup “North Sydney United, a thriving amateur club with 1,700 members, is led by Simon Cox.

He told the BBC that the violence reminded him of the bad old days when football in Australia was divided along ethnic lines drawn by migrant communities who brought their sporting hostility from Europe.

“It not only brings back memories for those who followed the old National Soccer League and its tribalism, which triggered bouts of bad behavior, but it also brings back behavior we thought we’d outgrown. But it appears to be rearing its ugly head once more “Mr. Cox stated. “It’s not going to encourage families to come along, which the A-League desperately needs.”

Australian Football Turns Violent After150 Stormed the Pitch

But, next year, Australia will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the world its love of the game.

It will co-host the Women’s World Cup with New Zealand in July and August 2023. The Matildas’ biggest draw is superstar Sam Kerr.

Australia’s Matildas, led by superstar Sam Kerr, and their supporters will be hoping for the kind of home-grown success enjoyed by England’s Lionesses at this year’s European Championships.

“The Matildas’ image and women’s football in general are massively on the rise here,” said Mr Awaritefe, a former Socceroo.

“Hopefully, that will help to bring the country together and heal some of the wounds that have been caused in recent days by the appalling behavior of a few.”

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