Talk about leaving a bitter taste in your mouth. A nasty 'food fight' has erupted between A-League club Melbourne City and South Australian National Premier League outfit MetroStars FC after a heated Australia Cup quarter-final at Adelaide's TK Shutter Reserve on Thursday night.
Melbourne City, backed by the wealthy City Football Group and sister club to EPL champions Manchester City, won the game 2-1 after converting a controversial stoppage time penalty, knocking the brave part-timers out of the competition. But the drama didn’t end on the pitch.
'ABSOLUTE JOKE': Socceroos fans fume over 'diabolical' farce
The MetroStars were angered City players, coaches and officials brushed a post-game meal in their clubhouse, pointing out their volunteers had put in hours of preparation. It prompted club official Dimitri Peppas to tweet: "Disgraceful by Melbourne City. The club had food ready for the team, cooked by volunteers all day, and they left the ground!"
Disgraceful by Melbourne City. The club had food ready for the team, cooked by volunteers all day, and they left the ground! #METvMCY
— Dimitri Peppas (@DimitriPeppas_) September 14, 2023
The tweet brought a mixed response from fans, with many accusing City of disrespecting their hosts and just as many backing the visitors' right to leave without eating. Melbourne City's Head of Talent Management, Michael Petrillo, sought to clarify the club's stance.
"We fully intended staying however you should ask some of your senior officials why (we did not)," he posted. "Abuse our players, staff and insulting our club after the game and expect us to feel welcome. Disgraceful behaviour."
— The soccer guru (@Bballlover) September 15, 2023
Shame you refused to eat the food offered. What an embarrassment of a football brand you lot are.
— wizardmelon (@thewizardmelon1) September 15, 2023
— Antonis Pagonis (@Pagonis98) September 14, 2023
Really poor form from Melbourne City, & does nothing to dispel the long held view that A-League clubs are little more than franchises without a soul. https://t.co/ypOIquvHpI
— wurzelofoz 🏴 (@wurzelofoz) September 14, 2023
Freelance football writer Antonis Pagonis confirmed both clubs' positions. "Final bit of context on this. Tradition in the SA is clubs share a meal after games. Hosts provide free of charge," he wrote.
"MetroStars had contacted City, who agreed to come along and even catered to dietary requirements. Post-game, they felt disrespected by fans booing, so they left."
Melbourne City players booed after penalty drama
MetroStars supporters were upset over the controversial decision to award City a match-deciding penalty for a trip in the box in the 95th minute. The teams had been locked at 1-all and looked headed for extra-time.
— Australia Cup (@AustraliaCup) September 14, 2023
"They (Metro) didn’t sit back, they entertained and are bitterly disappointed to go out on what we could call a soft penalty," Channel 10's Luke Wilkshire said at fulltime. Co-commentator Phil Moss added: "I'm not convinced that was a penalty.
"I thought it was shoulder to shoulder and the contact was limited. A big, big decision at that stage of the game, dramatic scenes."
Yahoo Sport Australia contacted both Melbourne City and MetroStars FC for further comment over the food dispute but had not heard from either prior to publishing.
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