Sydney FC has flagged heightened player security at Pirtek Stadium after young defender Aaron Calver was reportedly struck by a Western Sydney Wanderers fan at the end of a fiery derby on Saturday night.
Calver, 19, was on his way from the players' corporate box to the dressing room when he was slapped by the fan who allegedly said he wanted to “break” the legs of Sydney FC goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic.
The fan was quickly apprehended and now faces a lengthy ban from A-League matches and possible criminal charges.
In another ugly incident following the Sky Blues 4-3 win, two Sydney fans were hospitalised when set up by a large group of men allegedly wearing Western Sydney Wanderers' badges.
According to the report by Fairfax Media, Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata flagged changes to player security following Calver's ordeal.
"It goes without saying that we think that all members of our playing squad should be able to come to any match, watch the game and not be in danger," Pignata told Fairfax Media.
"It's quite distressing for Aaron, a young player, who only just turned 19, to be confronted like that. Thankfully security were on the spot quickly and the guy has been apprehended.
"Aaron was visibly shaken by the event, as you would be. He wasn't hurt and he will be fine, but you certainly don't expect that – a slap across the face – to happen."
Pignata said he would speak further with Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas about the incident.
“He's obviously quite upset at seeing this happen as well. Next time we play here we might need to have player security at all times.
"That said, we're fairly sure it will be a one-off event. It's just a shame that it put such a dampener on what was otherwise a great night for Sydney FC and a wonderful showcase for the A-League. We'll just make sure next time that there's proper measures in place."
Tsatsimas told Fairfax he was waiting for more information before taking action against the fan.
"We're certainly aware of the incident and I made sure to speak with Tony and the player involved as soon as I found out about the incident on Saturday night," he said.
"We'll just wait for the police reports to come in with all the facts before we can take any further action."
Football Federation Australia also issued a statement.
"FFA is aware of an incident in which a Sydney FC player was involved in an altercation with a patron in a corporate area at Pirtek Stadium," an FFA spokesperson told Fairfax Media.
"FFA's security team are liaising with the home club Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC and NSW Police. A report on the matter is expected to be finalised in the next few days."2 comments