Chaos at Fed Square during Matildas semi-final loss

17 August 2023

Written by: Jackson MacDonald

Four people have been charged almost $1000 by police for flare-related offences during the Matildas semi-final loss to England.

Four people have been fined $962 over the possession of flares, and another cautioned in relation to throwing a flare as fans caused havoc in Melbourne’s Federation Square during the World Semi-final.

An hour before kick-off, Federation Square had reached capacity with 10,000 people, but people continued to enter the live site.

Barriers from several entrances were pushed down by a swarm of fans as event security and police tried to stop the incoming crowd.

Over 50 flares were lit, with smoke bombs and firecrackers being used as well.  These objects were thrown while still active across the crowd, hitting viewers.

Throughout the match, the PA announcer reminded the crowd that it was a “family-friendly” event and that there were still plenty of seats at the other major Melbourne live site at AAMI Park.

The worst came after Sam Kerr’s 63rd-minute equaliser, when red smoke from flares filled the air.

“Luckily at this stage, we’re not aware of anyone being injured,” a police spokesperson said this morning.

Saturday night’s third-place match was set to be shown at Federation Square however, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp told 3AW radio that the plans could be scrapped.

“Those idiots ruin it for the rest of us,” she said on-air.


Photo: Federation Square in Melbourne by Terazzo is available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Licence. The image has not been modified.