Melbourne Victory supporters are set to be allowed to attend the Boxing Day A-League Men clash against Western United as the investigation into Saturday’s derby riot continues.
A Football Australia statement on Wednesday revealed there was no timeframe into determining what sanctions Victory and its fans could face following the violent pitch invasion that saw the Melbourne derby abandoned.
Possible punishments for Victory and its supporters have been mooted as the barring of fans from games, playing home matches behind closed doors, loss of competition points and heavy fines.
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But with Victory’s match against Western United fast-approaching, the FA indicated they won’t have completed their investigation, with the organisation hinting heavy security measures will be in place for the contest at AAMI Park – which will be a home game for the green-and-black.
“Football Australia can confirm that Melbourne Victory FC has submitted a reply to the show cause notice issued to the club following the abandonment of the Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park on Saturday, 17 December,” FA said in a statement.
“Football Australia understands the importance of swift action; however, it will take whatever time is necessary to work through this submission before determining what sanctions will be imposed upon the club. No timeframe has been put on this process.
“Football Australia is also assessing what measures may need to be implemented, and will be working with the Australian Professional Leagues, Melbourne Victory FC, Western United FC, and the operators of AAMI Park as to how they plan to ensure the safety of all fans, players, officials, and staff at the scheduled A-League Men’s Boxing Day match.”
Several men have been charged, with two receiving lifetime bans, after the violent scenes at the Melbourne derby, which saw Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover struck with a bin, while match referee Alex King, security guards and a cameraman were also injured as the pitch was peppered with flares and invaded by more than 100 fans.
“The actions of these two, and others who are of interest to us, are completely unacceptable and those people and their behaviours will never be welcome in our game,” Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, said following the announcement of the bans.
“Football has a zero-tolerance policy to disruptive, destructive, violent, and anti-social behaviour at its sanctioned events, and it will not tolerate behaviour that has the potential to threaten the safety or security of spectators, players, and officials.
“These significant bans against these individuals are consistent with this position.
“Football Australia is working around the clock on this investigation to ensure that the scenes witnessed at AAMI Park in Melbourne are never repeated again.”