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Craig Foster and Robbie Slater slam ‘disgusting football fans’ at Melbourne A-League derby

Aussie football greats have been scathing of the football fans who attacked Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover at Saturday night’s Melbourne derby, and shocked the football world.

Former Socceroo Craig Foster slammed the Melbourne Victory fans who stormed the pitch at AAMI Park, saying that their actions have destroyed the progress the sport had made thanks to the Socceroos’ performance at the World Cup.

Aussie football greats have been scathing of the football fans who attacked Melbourne City goalkeeper Thomas Glover (pictured) at Saturday night’s Melbourne derby, and shocked the football world

Former Socceroo Craig Foster slammed the Melbourne Victory fans who stormed the pitch at AAMI Park, saying that their actions have destroyed the progress the sport had made thanks to the Socceroos' performance at the World Cup

Former Socceroo Craig Foster slammed the Melbourne Victory fans who stormed the pitch at AAMI Park, saying that their actions have destroyed the progress the sport had made thanks to the Socceroos’ performance at the World Cup

‘I was absolutely appalled,’ he said on Channel 9’s Weekend Today.

‘My first reflection was what an incredible month it’s been for the game and this is exactly what football doesn’t need. These people have brought the whole game into disrepute and rightly, we’re talking millions of Australians, have condemned these actions.’

Furious with the A-League’s decision to send the next three grand finals to Sydney , both sets of fans were planning a mass walkout on the 20th minute to vent their discontent with the decision.

They had earlier chanted ‘f*** the APL’ while unfurling banners pre-game and during the match, and throwing flares onto the playing arena.

Former Socceroo Craig Foster (pictured) is appalled by Saturday night's chaos

Former Socceroo Craig Foster (pictured) is appalled by Saturday night’s chaos

But the situation escalated when a flare from the Victory active area hit the cameraman, then exploded when City goalkeeper Thomas Glover picked up another flare off the ground and threw it back in the stands.

Fans, primarily Victory ones, then stormed onto the pitch and Glover and referee Alex King were both struck by the metal bucket, which is filled with sand and used to dispose of flares.

Glover was left with a cut head, requiring stitches, and a suspected concussion while King had a gash on his eyebrow. A Network 10 cameraman was earlier injured when he was hit by a flare.

Fans, primarily Victory ones, then stormed onto the pitch and Glover and referee Alex King were both struck by the metal bucket, which is filled with sand and used to dispose of flares

Fans, primarily Victory ones, then stormed onto the pitch and Glover and referee Alex King were both struck by the metal bucket, which is filled with sand and used to dispose of flares

Players from both teams were rushed down the tunnel, while fans were swinging from the goal at the Victory end of the ground.

The game was suspended for close to 45 minutes before officials made the decision to abandon the fixture.

‘I hope Thomas is OK, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but to see him assaulted and people bringing this game into disrepute is disgusting,’ Foster said.

Support for the sport in Australia was at levels not experienced since the 2006 World Cup, however a week of chaos has marred this feel-good factor.

The game was suspended for close to 45 minutes before officials made the decision to abandon the fixture

The game was suspended for close to 45 minutes before officials made the decision to abandon the fixture

‘We saw hundreds of thousands of people come out and cheer for the Socceroos and stand at the live sites and just have the most extraordinary month and all come together, all Australians across all of our beautiful diversity.

‘Being passionate is respecting the game and upholding the rules around it, respecting your fellow spectators and of course the players, all the rest. This is exactly what we don’t want here.’

Socceroos legend Robbie Slater also condemned the the shameful scenes on Saturday night.

Support for the sport in Australia was at levels not experienced since the 2006 World Cup, however a week of chaos has marred this feel-good factor

Support for the sport in Australia was at levels not experienced since the 2006 World Cup, however a week of chaos has marred this feel-good factor

‘This was supposed to be a time when we were celebrating the wonderful achievements of our Socceroos at the World Cup, and now this has happened,’ Slater said.

‘I don’t know how we recover from this. How did it come to this? This could be the start of a slow death for the game.

‘There should have just been a walkout, not an invasion of the pitch, the flares and the assaults.’

Socceroos legend Robbie Slater (pictured) also condemned the the shameful scenes on Saturday night and doesn't know how Australian football will recover

Socceroos legend Robbie Slater (pictured) also condemned the the shameful scenes on Saturday night and doesn’t know how Australian football will recover

Slater also pointed out that the whole incident could have been avoided if the decision to sell A-League grand finals to Sydney for the next three years had never been made in the first place.

‘There’s no excuse for what the fans have done there, but this would never have arisen if what happened during the week with the grand finals hadn’t have happened,’ he said.

‘The APL can’t take the blame for idiots invading the pitch but they only invaded the pitch because of the current (grand final) situation, which needs to be investigated.

‘The lack of transparency and consultation in their decision has led to this.’

Former Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic also slammed the incidents that unfolded at AAMI Park, calling it the 'darkest day for football in Australia'

Former Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic also slammed the incidents that unfolded at AAMI Park, calling it the ‘darkest day for football in Australia’

Former Socceroos goalkeeper Danny Vukovic also slammed the incidents that unfolded at AAMI Park, calling it the ‘darkest day for football in Australia’.

‘Our game is in tatters. An absolute disgrace what happened tonight,’ Vukovic said on Twitter.

‘Cannot believe we are here after such an amazing WC and so much potential to see our game grow. Irreparable damage done. Darkest day for football in Australia.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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