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Capital Territory NPL

'Scary' pitch invader handed 10-year ban after bizarre protest

05:31 IST 07/05/2019
Canberra Premier League protest
"If that happened in a service station, that's quite a serious thing, so it's quite a serious thing for football as well."

A man that disrupted a game in Canberra's Premier League on Saturday donning a Mexican wrestling mask has been handed a 10-year ban from all football-related activities.

The unnamed protester entered the field of play with an hour played and proceeded to show the referee a red card before players forcibly took off his mask. 

It's understood his bizarre actions were a protest in relation to the mistreatment of match officials in Canberra.

Regardless of the reasons behind the incident, Capital Football chief executive Phil Brown felt a heavy punishment was necessary. 

"We reviewed those incident reports that came in, as well as the footage of the match, and we have issued the person we believe entered the field with a 10-year suspension from all football activities," Brown told The Canberra Times.

"They can't go to watch a [local] game, they can't go to a Socceroos or Matildas match. We're going to escalate that up to FFA and request that become a national ban. As it currently sits now, anything that's on in the ACT, they can't attend.

"As you can imagine, it's not a nice experience having someone with a mask on run at you directly in a game. It left the referee feeling quite threatened and intimidated.

"It's quite scary. You've got to remember this is a referee doing their thing on a football field.

"If that happened in a service station, that's quite a serious thing, so it's quite a serious thing for football as well."