A chaotic night at the overflowing Federation Square has led to four male Matildas fans fined for possessing flares.
The FIFA fan event hit maximum capacity ahead of the Matildas’ semi-final against England on Wednesday evening, but excitement boiled over as fans stormed barricades and let off flares.
Orange smoke from the some 50 flares discharged during the match billowed over Federation Square in what Victoria Police has called a “challenging night”.
“We saw a large rowdy group of mainly male youths, part of the active supporter groups, discharge and throw a significant number of flares,” a spokesman said.
“More than 50 flares were discharged and multiple thrown into the crowd, luckily at this stage, we’re not aware of anyone being injured.”
Four males, aged 16 to 23, were fined $962 for possessing flares, and another a 16-year-old male was cautioned in relation to throwing a flare.
Police said they‘ve secured CCTV footage and detectives will investigate.
But luckily, there had been no reports of injury.
Melburnians flocked to Federation Square to watch the Matildas go down to England 3-1 in the heartbreaking semi-final.
The venue reached the 10,000 capacity an hour before kick-off and fans were directed to watch the game at the live site at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (AAMI Park).
But some fans instead stormed barriers to gain entry instead.
“Officers were constantly trying to ensure the safety of the crowd, managing and monitoring public order at the Federation Square site however at times multiple temporary fences, which were in place to assist with managing the crowd, were breached,” police said.
The spokesman confirmed Police were “very happy” with the overall behaviour of fans at AAMI Park and the packed bars and pubs around Melbourne’s CBD.
“There were no incidents of note at AAMI Park, other than a penalty notice issued to a male who was in possession of a flare,” they said.