Fans are divided on social media after a bizarre incident involving Adelaide United’s Michael Marrone and a ball boy marred the final stages of the FFA Cup final between the Reds and Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Sky Blues eventually lifted the cup after Bobo's extra-time strike secured a 2-1 victory, but an already tense encounter boiled over in the 115th minute when Marrone tackled the Sydney FC ball boy to the ground in a desperate attempt to retrieve the ball as Adelaide tried to find an equaliser.
Watch the ball boy incident and highlights of the FFA Cup final in the video above
The Reds player ran towards the ball boy, who turned his back in an apparent attempt to stall Marrone, who clattered into the young fella and sent him crashing to the ground.
All hell broke loose as both benches cleared and players and officials came together, with Sky Blues forward Matt Simon physically confronting Marrone before the Adelaide defender was shown a red card and the match continued.
Sydney FC's Michael Zullo ensured the ball boy would also take good memories away from his eventful evening, giving away his winner’s medal to the youngster who also lifted the trophy on stage with the team.
Football fans took to social media to vent their opinion with some condemning Marrone for his actions, while others said the ball boy had done the wrong thing in not returning the ball straight away.
Marrone could have, actually should have stopped, and called for the referees attention. Waited for ball boy to hand it over. Ball boy was a bit of a dick, but it still doesn't excuse Marrone's actions.— NotKate. (@qldcate) November 21, 2017
Marrone's intent was to get the ball back and the ball boy blatantly cheated. You obviously know NOTHING about Marrone as a person if you think he deliberately tried to hurt him.— GibbsyIsFinallyACrow (@BCE71090) November 21, 2017
Marrone was out of line, however the ball boy should have given up the ball when he was asked. Instead he turned away and held the ball close to his chest. The boy's intention was not to give the ball back. #PlayFair— Paul Young (@ProTrackAust) November 21, 2017
Ball boy should be sacked, Marrone red card correct. Both in wrong, crazy that ballboy rewarded with medal and cup celebrations #FFACupFinal— Daryn McCleave (@scunny32) November 21, 2017
IMO, Marrone’s actions warranted a red and the standard ban but the ball boy deserves no sympathy and probably shouldn’t be doing anymore games. He also shouldn’t be lifting the trophy and getting a medal 😳🤦🏻♂️— Neil Sherwin (@neilsherwin) November 21, 2017
Agree no excuse for Marrone but the ball boy knew what he was doing and inadvertently put himself in that situation— 123 (@souwalker) November 21, 2017