Pitch invasion causes Melbourne derby abandonment as goalkeeper Glover struck by a bin

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A pitch invasion from fans caused the abandonment of the Melbourne derby and saw goalkeeper Tom Glover being struck in the face with a bin.

The A-League Men’s clash between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory had already seen flares thrown by both sets of fans during the first 22 minutes, before things escalated.

With hosts City 1-0 up at AAMI Park thanks to an 11th-minute goal from Aiden O’Neill, a flare seemed to hit a pitch-side cameraman before exploding, while City shot stopper Glover threw another flare back into the crowd.

This led to a number of fans storming the pitch, with Glover being hit in the face with a metal bin that had been used for other flares. The club later said the 24-year-old “likely has a concussion”.

The referee had been stood next to Glover and was covered in ash, before taking the players off the pitch, with the game later being abandoned.

There had already been fan protests earlier this week after both the men’s and women’s A-Leagues announced the sale of the rights to their grand finals to the New South Wales government.

Both finals will be played in Sydney for the next three years after a deal reported to be worth eight figures was reached, with several prominent individuals involved in Australian football speaking out against the move away from the tradition of the highest-placed team hosting the game.

Protests also took place at other A-League games, including Central Coast Mariners fans leaving just 20 minutes into their clash with Sydney FC, while Newcastle Jets supporters also left during the first half of their match against Brisbane Roar.

APL chief executive Danny Townsend, who has come under fire for the decision, described the deal as “a unique opportunity” for a week-long “festival of football” around the men’s and women’s grand finals.

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