Football Australia issue Melbourne Victory with show cause notice

Football Australia has issued a show cause notice to Melbourne Victory Football Club, following the horrific incidents witnessed at AAMI Park during Saturday night’s A-League Men’s match between Melbourne City FC and Melbourne Victory FC, when supporters of Melbourne Victory FC entered the field of play behind the Melbourne City FC goal and assaulted a player, match official, and camera operator.

Football Australia has given Melbourne Victory FC until 9.00am AEDT, Wednesday 21 December to show cause why they should not face serious sanctions for bringing the game into disrepute through the conduct of its supporters, which may include financial penalties, loss of competition points and/or playing matches behind closed doors, or on neutral territory.

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, outlining incidents that took place on Saturday night.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson expressed his extreme disappointment in the misconduct of some individuals on Saturday night, which tarnishes the reputation of football, Melbourne Victory FC, and the fans of the A-League.

“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,” Johnson concluded.

Football Australia 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. Football Australia will also regulate the outcome of the match after it was abandoned at or around the 22nd minute.