Sydney FC’s thrilling Australia Cup victory over the Central Coast Mariners has been marred by disturbing post-match footage of crowd troubles outside of Leichhardt Oval on Sunday night.
The Sky Blues beat the Mariners on penalties after the two sides were locked at 3-3 at the end of extra-time.
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But in an unfortunate turn of events, the result has been overshadowed by violence in the car park after the full time whistle had been blown.
Video of the incident was first posted online by veteran sports reporter Ray Gatt.
Two sets of hooded individuals were seen hurling projectiles such as rocks, barriers and flares at one another as spectators, some with young families, were forced to return back into the stadium for their own safety.
In an official statement, the Mariners confirmed that none of their own fans were involved in the incident at any stage and condemned the behaviors and actions of those who were.
“We would like to applaud and thank all of our traveling supporters and how they conduct themselves,” the statement read.
“The club does not condone such behaviour. There is no place for it in football and this incident had nothing to do with the match.”
According to Sydney FC CEO Adam Santo, the participating parties did not even attend the match itself.
“I would rather celebrate the exciting finish to our match tonight however we are assisting police with the incident that occurred outside the ground,” Santo posted on Twitter.
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“Reports at the scene appear those responsible were not in attendance at our match.
“Fortunately it appears no-one was injured.”
An official Sydney FC statement corroborated Santo’s account in terms of no attending fans having any hand in the post-match scenes.
“Sydney FC were disappointed to see the incident that took place outside Leichhardt Oval at the conclusion of the Australia Cup match,” the statement read.
“As far as we are aware, the parties involved had not attended the match, and we are grateful to stadium security and NSW police who cleared the area within minutes.
“Football is the most inclusive, safe and welcoming sport and those involved do not represent our game.”
Sydney FC star striker Adam Le Fondre shared that his family was unfortunately caught up in the “disgraceful scenes.”
“Awful stuff to see,” Le Fondre wrote on Twitter.
“My mrs was caught with our 3 girls in the car park trying to leave whilst this was happening!! Disgraceful scenes.”
An eyewitness account from an individual named Stefan detailed the frightening situation that was unfolding in front of him, his wife and his two-year-old daughter.
“It was probably about 15 minutes after the game finished when we heard all this ruckus while walking to the car park,” Stefan told The Daily Telegraph.
“We saw a barrier being thrown and while I was holding my two-year-old daughter, a flare flew overhead and landed only a couple meters away from us.
“There was a lot of screaming and shouting, objects were flying around overhead and rocks were going past us.”
NSW Police confirmed the incident is under investigation.