A section of Melbourne Victory members have been banned from attending Friday night’s A-League match against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park despite initial Football Australia (FA) sanctions indicating members could attend.
After the Melbourne derby pitch invasion which saw City goalkeeper Tom Glover injured, FA applied a set of sanctions on Victory until January 15, which included banning all the club’s supporters from attending away matches, while ‘valid home members’ could attend any home matches.
Only two days before the Friday kickoff in the home match against Roar on January 6, Victory confirmed in an email statement that any North End members would be banned from attending the match, while General Admin and South End members could attend, with the South End area of AAMI Park being roped off.
MORE: Melbourne Victory fans banned from attending A-League matches as investigation into derby riot continues
Information about the exclusion of North End members only became available on social media on Tuesday after confused fans posted about the situation.
Victory have offered to compensate all North End fans banned with free double passes to a future game, with the huge majority of the area not involved in derby pitch invasion.
“In accordance with Football Australia’s sanctions handed down on Friday 23 December, our North End members are unable to attend Melbourne Victory home games until Sunday 15 January,” Victory’s statement read.
“We understand this is disappointing and frustrating for many of our North End members who did not participate in the events on Saturday 17 December.
“As a result, we would like to offer our North End members a complimentary double pass to one of our remaining home games.
“Once Football Australia has completed their investigation, we will contact you to provide you with further details around claiming your double pass.”
MORE: ‘Absolute disgrace’ – World reacts to A-League Men madness as investigation begins after fan attack
Angry fans flooded Twitter criticising both the APL and Victory for the sanctions and the communication of them, with it clear that the current sanctions were not properly communicated with supporters.
I’m a Nth End Gold member. My son and I stand at the periphery of the Nth end. I’m 66, a bit overweight with a dodgy hip that precludes fence jumping. We weren’t there Boxing Day. Yet I am the face of football hooliganism. I cannot believe that I am barred from this game. Shame.
— Gary Albert (@garyalbertef) January 4, 2023
I wasn’t even at the game with the incidents , why am I being punished? Collective punishment is not the answer!
— Leonotski (@Leonotski1) January 3, 2023
This should have been communicated well earlier
— Samuel Gray (@SamuelG47135104) January 3, 2023
This is ridiculous. It was an away game. I wasn’t even at the game and I’m punished simply for my membership category. Yet there were GA members who invaded the pitch and that category is still allowed?
It is absolute bullshit.
— 18 years Tops (@Morecapsicum) January 3, 2023
The latest Victoria Police report stated 37 individuals of the 42 identified as invading the AAMI Park pitch had been processed by authorities, with 32 charged with a range of offences including assault, violent disorder, criminal damage, riotous behaviour, and discharging missiles.
Five people were issued a fine or caution.
Football Australia has also issued attendance bans ranging from five years to lifetime for supporters identified by the police as being involved in the riot.