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A pitch invader who threw a bucket into the face of an A-League goalkeeper during the “darkest day” for Australian football has been jailed.
Alex Agelopoulos launched a bucket of sand at Melbourne City goalie Tom Glover during a violent pitch incursion in December last year, when football fans were protesting the relocation of the league’s finals matches.
A-League pitch invader Alex Agelopoulos has been jailed.Credit: Victoria Police
The 23-year-old was sentenced to three months behind bars on Tuesday by magistrate Rosemary Falla, who also banned him from attending matches at Melbourne’s AAMI Park for five years.
Agelopoulos’ barrister Dermot Dann flagged an immediate appeal against the sentence, which also includes a community corrections order, including extensive random drug testing and supervision for 18 months after his release.
A bail application will be heard later on Tuesday.
Glover had to be taken to hospital after being struck with the bucket, just after the 20-minute mark of a derby match against Melbourne Victory on December 17.
The attack on City goalkeeper Tom Glover.Credit: Ten News
He suffered a cut to his face and a concussion that kept him from training for a week, as well as ongoing anxiety.
A security guard was also struck with hot sand from the bucket Agelopoulos threw, causing a singed eyebrow.
The violent scenes, which caused extensive damage to the stadium, erupted during an organised protest across A-League matches that weekend.
Days earlier, Football Australia sold the A-League finals rights to the NSW government, effectively guaranteeing finals matches would be hosted at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium until at least 2026.
A bleeding Tom Glover of Melbourne City is escorted from the pitch by teammates.Credit: Getty
Ms Falla said the invaders’ actions caused fear for spectators in the 18,000-strong crowd and brought the game into disrepute.
“There is no place for this type of offending in any sport, especially a sport you claim to love,” she said.
Mr Dann had argued against a prison sentence for Agelopoulos, who had shown insight and remorse for his offending.
“He will forever be known as ‘bucket man’ and will have to work hard to overcome that,” he said.
Agelopoulos, who was seriously addicted to ice at the time, has recognised his drug use was out of control, engaged in rehabilitation and now has good prospects.
In sentencing other pitch invaders earlier this month, Ms Falla described December 17 as a great day of shame for Football Australia and Victoria.
“It remains inexplicable why you and your cohort behaved in the way that you did,” she said.
“You all profess to love the game and yet totally disrespected it.”
Melbourne Victory was penalised by Football Australia for their fans’ actions, which caused more than $200,000 worth of damage to AAMI Park.
The club was barred from selling tickets to home games and fans were also precluded from attending away fixtures under an interim sanction that was the harshest in the sport’s history.
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