Melbourne City keeper Glover avoids ban for throwing flare towards supporters

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Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover has avoided a ban for his part in the violent pitch invasion that forced this month’s derby against Melbourne Victory to be abandoned.

The A-League clash between Victory and City on December 17 saw flares thrown by both sets of fans during the opening quarter of the game at AAMI Park.

Trouble escalated when a flare hit a pitchside cameraman before exploding, with City keeper Glover throwing two flares off the field, one of which landed in the stands.

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 brought to an end.

Three men have subsequently been charged by Victoria Police, while an independent match review panel (MRP) was tasked with determining if Glover deserved to be punished.

After reviewing the match footage and consulting referee King’s match report, it was announced on Tuesday that no further action will be taken against Glover.

King confirmed in his report that he saw the incident involving Glover and he did not in any way feel the 25-year-old intentionally meant to throw a flare into the stands.

“Since the independent MRP was satisfied that the incident had not escaped the referee’s attention, the MRP did not proceed to consider whether Glover should have been sanctioned with a direct red card,” a football Australia (FA) spokesperson said.

“Accordingly, the MRP has not cited the incident pursuant to the regulations.”

Glover was therefore cleared to play for City in Tuesday’s A-League encounter with Central Coast Mariners.

Victory were last week hit with a range of attendance-related sanctions by FA, with the club unable to sell tickets for any game up to and including January 15.

Additionally, the “active supporter bays” at both ends of AAMI Park are to be shut, and Victory fans will be unable to attend away games unless they appear on a pre-approved FA list of individuals who can qualify for complimentary tickets, though there will only be 1,000 of those available.

Even more significant punishments are still expected to be dished out to Victory, with FA adding “no determination regarding the final sanctions” had been made yet, with potential fines or points deductions reportedly on the table.

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