Goalie left bleeding after violent pitch invasion

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Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover as has been assaulted as spectators stormed the pitch at the 20-minute mark of the A-League Men’s Melbourne derby on Saturday night.

Spectators forced their way onto the field with the score at 1-0, in favor of City, after 20 minutes of play.

Glover was left bleeding from the head after being struck with a metal bucket. He received treatment at AAMI Park for a concussion before being transported to hospital.

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Tom Glover is assaulted by spectators. (Paramount)

Referee Alex King, match officials and camera-operators were also targeted in the attack.

Fans from both clubs threw flares onto the pitch 20 minutes into the first half, but when Glover hurled a flare back into the Victory fans area at the northern end, it triggered a wave of spectators forcing their way onto the pitch to wreak havoc.

Across the weekend, football fans have planed to walk out of matches at the 20-minute mark in protest of the Australian Professional Leagues’ decision to award the hosting rights of the A-Leagues’ grand finals to Sydney.

While the competitions will financially benefit from the three-year sponsorship with the New South Wales government, the announcement has been meet with fierce criticism from fans, pundits, past players and A-League clubs.

Amongst the chaos, players from both teams were ordered to leave the field for their own safety and the match was abandoned.

“There’s a bit of a problem and now the referee has called for both sets of players to leave the field,” Robbie Thomson said in commentary for 10 Football.

“This is entirely, entirely unacceptable.”

In an on-air statement, Thomson said that the drastic actions of some had marred the progress made recently by the Socceroos at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and blemished the ‘peaceful’ motive behind the protests.

“Football, so ironically in the last few weeks, has taken us to the dizziest of heights and unfortunately this evening to the most crippling of lows – the match abandoned due to player safety,” he said,

“Tom Glover was struck by pitch invaders. He has been taken to hospital now. He was cut on the face.

“The referee was also assaulted, Alex King, and as a result, and perfectly understandably despite the fact that we were all so looking forward to a big match in football this evening, I reiterate once again the actions of a few have cost us all very, very dearly this evening.”

In a statement, Football Australia explained its decision to abandon the game was to protect its integrity “following shocking scenes”.

“Such behaviour has no place in Australian Football, with a full Football Australia investigation to commence immediately, where strong sanctions to be handed down,” the statement read.

“The Australian Professional League (APL) is coordinating with Football Australia (FA) regarding the ramifications of these events,” the A-League said in a statement.

A strong response from police helped to contain the situation.

Ahead of the match, fans from both teams began chanting “f—- the APL”, while several signs criticised the body’s three-year sponsorship which is rumoured to be worth more than $10 million.

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