A major international darts event was brought to a halt on Saturday as fans began throwing chairs around the venue.
The Darts Invitational Challenge final between Australian Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock and Dutchman ‘Mighty’ Michael van Gerwen had to be put on hold as drunk spectators began tossing chairs around Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Fans, some of whom who fled to the upper tiers to avoid the chaos, captured the pandemonium and posted clips to YouTube.
Darts fan Andrew Portbury told the ABC: “There were entire rows basically demolished, chairs being put on piles and tables started getting involved. People were diving on top of the tables and it just became this huge mess very, very quickly.”
Right police were called to the fracas, reportedly ejecting around 40 unruly fans but making no arrests. A number of fans sustained injuries.
Darts Australia President Kelvin James insisted the incident was not reflective of the sport. Nonetheless he said he was very concerned about the possible damage caused to the sport’s reputation as well as the image of Melbourne and Aussie sports fans in general.
“I’ve seen the footage and I think it’s a big embarrassment to the the general sporting public in Australia and a very poor reflection on Melbourne,” Mr James said, according to The Age.
IMAGE: Spectators in fancy dress throw chairs and tables during the Invitational Darts Challenge at Etihad Stadium on January 10, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)