A Socceroos fan that was injured from a stray flare during the celebrations at Fed Square on Sunday morning has spoken out over scenes. Many diehard football fans arrived at Fed Square at 5am to watch the Socceroos take on Argentina in the Round of 16 in Qatar.
The iconic Melbourne spot had witnessed remarkable scenes in the early hours of the morning for previous games, which had been broadcasted all around the world. Unfortunately for the fans waking up early, the Socceroos weren't able to equalise in the final moments against Argentina and were knocked out after an inspiring Lionel Messi performance.
And following the final game, Victorian Police announced a number of incidents took place. Police monitored the 15,000 fans who cheered on Australia and a statement claimed a number of people were injured during the celebration after flares were fired into the crowd. Two police officers were also injured.
One such crowd member who was injured from a flare was 19-year-old Samuel Rogan. Images showed flares erupting after the Socceroos scored their first goal, thanks to a Craig Goodwin shot. The square was engulfed in smoke during the match.
Unfortunately, one of the flares hit Rogan and injured his arm and the teen described the brutal injury. "My skin was bubbling," he told Nine News after the incident. "It felt like someone was just sitting there with a fire torch just on my arm."
Rogan's friend lost his eyelashes to a burn and also hurt his arm. Rogan said it could have been a lot worse for him. "He could have lost his eye. I could have lost half my skin on my arm," he added. The pair were taken straight to Alfred Hospital to deal with the burns.
Victoria Police call out scenes at Fed Square
While Fed Square has been used as a base for fans during the Qatar World Cup, police issued a statement after Australia were knocked out.
"Police witnessed fireworks being set off in the crowd a large number of flares being thrown at the screen, causing damage to the stage area," a police statement read. "Two people were taken to hospital with minor burns from flares. Federation Square reached capacity at 5am, prior to the match commencing. Police were forced to use OC spray when people began forcing their way into the venue, causing minor injuries to two police officers."
Fed Square announced that the venue had hit capacity before kick-off and patrons were sending any arrivals to AAMI Park. Despite some trouble, a number of fans remained behind to help clean up the trash left behind after the 15,000 strong crowd departed.
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