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Worst football pitch invasions – the bad, the sad, and the ugly

Football is an emotional game where fans wear their hearts on their sleeves – every action is met with pure passion.

Victories come with eruptions of joy, and defeats can sting deep. 

Sometimes, that passion spills over the edge, leading to pitch invasions that go from celebratory to dangerous. 

Here, we delve into some of the worst recent pitch invasions that have stained the beautiful game.

Anarchy overtakes Trabzonspor versus Fenerbache clash

There were ugly scenes when third-placed Trabzonspor recently lost 3-2 to fellow Super Lig contenders and second-placed Fenerbahce at their Papara Park Stadium.

Fenerbahce players, ecstatic after claiming a dying-minute winner through Michy Batshuayi, began celebrating on the field, and Trabzonspor fans were not having it. 

They invaded the pitch, and visiting players, including Batshuayi, were seen clashing with fans – including one who charged with a corner flag.

Fenerbahce defender and Nigerian international Bright Osayi-Samuel etched his name into club and street folklore after taking out a supporter with a blow and proceeding to complete the mission on the ground.

Batshuayi delivered a surprisingly deft roundhouse kick UFC fighter Yair Rodriguez would be proud of.

There were pictures of fans entering the pitch as they attempted to overpower the Fenerbahce players.

Security staff assuaged the situation and led Fenerbahce players down the tunnel and into their dressing room. Trabzonspor have since been hit with a spectator ban for six games.

Melbourne derby descends into chaos

Melbourne Victory received a slew of punishments for bringing the game into disrepute in 2022 when fans of the club invaded their A-League match against local rivals Melbourne City.

Around 150 Victory supporters stormed the AAMI Park pitch and unleashed 80 flares. 

The game was abandoned as City goalkeeper Tom Glover left the field after sustaining a head wound. Referee Alex King, two security guards and a camera operator also suffered injuries caused by the fireworks.

The chaos left behind cost around $150,000 in damages following minutes of incomprehensible mayhem.

The police announced that they had arrested more than 29 people over the incident, and over 20 were charged with different offences. More unreported arrests have taken place since then.

Ivan Savvidis storms the pitch with a gun!

PAOK president Ivan Savvidis shocked the entire world of football when he stormed the pitch in 2018 to protest a disallowed late goal.

Savvidis entered the pitch angrily with a holstered pistol as the opposing AEK Athens players ran for the tunnel.

Savvidis’ antics led to an automatic forfeit, and his side received a three-point deduction. FIFA threatened the national team with a ban, and the Greek Super League was suspended for two weeks.

Nottingham Forest fan headbutts Billy Sharp

Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp was the victim of an unprovoked attack after a Championship play-off semi-final game.

Nottingham Forest fans rushed to the City Ground pitch en masse after their side beat the Blades in a penalty shoot-out to book a trip to Wembley Stadium.

Sharp was not fit enough to play and was standing pitch-side near manager Paul Heckingbottom as thousands of home fans left their seats and invaded the field.

One fan ran aggressively at Sharp, who had been looking the other way, and headbutted him before running away, leaving his victim on the floor.

Heckingbottom and Sharp had scathing words for the miscreant, who received a 24-week jail sentence.

Patrick Vieira kicks a fan

Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was confronted by a supporter who goaded and abused the Frenchman during the pitch invasion that followed a 3-2 Everton win in May 2022.

Having initially tried to ignore the provocation, the now-Strasbourg head coach kicked the supporter who was also recording the incident.

Vieira was then shoved by another Everton fan before others stepped in to ensure the former Arsenal and Inter Milan midfielder could leave the pitch safely.

Surprisingly, Merseyside Police announced they would not take the matter further, and the FA followed suit.

Assault on Robin Olsen at the Etihad

The 2021/22 Premier League season concluded dramatically. Manchester City looked like they would blow away the title at the death at home to Aston Villa.

However, the Cityzens found their way back into the game and clinched the winner late and the trophy late in the tie. Unfortunately, some ugly scenes disrupted the memorable day.

Hundreds of City fans streamed onto the pitch, and they pushed and assaulted Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who was exiting the pitch after seeing his team give up a healthy two-goal lead.

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