Football Australia plans to use the full force of its powers to sanction individuals involved in the A-League Men Melbourne derby pitch invasion that delivered one of Australian sport’s darkest nights.

Saturday night’s match was abandoned after fans from the Melbourne Victory active area stormed the AAMI Park pitch, with Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover and referee Alex King struck by a metal bucket and injured.

The league is run by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) but Football Australia (FA) manages judiciary matters and has commenced an investigation, with pitch invaders the central focus.

Victory will be issued with a show cause notice and FA is also considering the outcome of the match, which City led 1-0 at the time it was abandoned.

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A Victoria Police investigation is ongoing, though no arrests had been made by Sunday morning, while pitch invaders face possible lifetime bans from FA.

“We will be moving swiftly and we will be taking the strongest sanctions that are available,” FA chief executive James Johnson told reporters on Sunday.

“This is an element that goes beyond football.

“It’s an element that infiltrates our game and that really try to ruin it for the 2 million people that love our sport.

“It’s those people that we will be targeting in this investigation and that we will weed out of the sport.”

Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie said the club was devastated by the behaviour of a section of the crowd.

“I’m disgraced and appalled at what happened last night,” Carnegie told reporters on Sunday.

“We’ve tried to work with our fans in a number of different ways to make sure that they can be here to support the club and do it in the right way.

“I think last night shows us that we’ve come to a point in time where what we’ve been doing probably hasn’t been as successful as we’d like and we just can’t condone what went on.

“There’s only so many ways I can say it but the behaviour was appalling and we’ll stand up and be part of that investigation and see what happens as a result.”

A woman with blonde hair stands in front of microphones and journalists outside a stadium.
Carnegie condemned the pitch invaders and vowed that Victory would do better. (ABC News: Simon Winter)

Victory could face a financial penalty or points deduction — or possibly have fans locked out of stadiums — but Johnson refused to comment on what sanctions FA would hand down to the club.

“Financially it’s devastating for us if we don’t get our fans into a stadium or we don’t have our fans doing what they do best,” Carnegie said.

“But the people we don’t want around aren’t true Melbourne Victory fans because if they were they wouldn’t have hurt the club the way they did last night.

“They wouldn’t have hurt the league and the sport.”

Two games at AAMI Park on Sunday will go ahead as planned, with Western United hosting Western Sydney and Victory’s A-League Women team playing Newcastle.

On Saturday night, both sets of fans had planned to walk out at the 20-minute mark as part of a protest towards the APL’s decision to sell the next three grand finals to Sydney, and had been throwing flares.

But the situation escalated when a flare hit and injured a Network 10 cameraman. The situation exploded when Glover picked up another flare off the ground and threw it back into the stands.

Fans then rushed the pitch and one threw a metal bucket, which hit Glover, who was concussed and required stitches, and King, who had a head gash.

The game was suspended for approximately 45 minutes then abandoned.

City said Glover was taken to hospital on Saturday night with “severe lacerations” to the face and a concussion.

The goalkeeper was cleared of further trauma and returned home on Sunday morning.

“He’ll stay home today and will then be managed by the club in his return to training based on concussion protocols,” the club said in a statement.