SPORT

George Calombaris Apologises After Fighting With Fan At The Footy

This was a Disasterchef.

08/05/2017 12:07 PM AEST | Updated 08/05/2017 1:45 PM AEST
SBS The World Game
We're pretty sure they weren't chatting about the virtues of soft fetta versus hard fetta.

Masterchef judge and restaurateur George Calombaris has had a tough few weeks.

First came revelations in early April that nearly 200 staff at his restaurants were underpaid a total of $2.6 million due to what he called "historically poor processes".

Then his football team, Melbourne Victory, lost the penalty shootout to Sydney FC in the A-League grand final at Allianz Stadium in Sydney (Calombaris is the team's number one ticket holder).

It's when those two issues collided that things got a little feisty.

SBS The World Game
The views that were exchanged had been pre-heated to at least 180 degrees.

Here's what happened. Calombaris was chatting with A-League chief David Gallop and others in the middle of the arena after the match when fans started abusing him.

"Pay your staff you dodgy bastard," one fan appeared to yell.

Calombaris clearly didn't much care for this and/or other comments emanating from that area of the crowd. So he went over to vent his spleen. He also appeared to push a fan. At this point, police ushered Calombaris away from the scene.

By Monday morning, the 38-year-old chef famous for his Greek-inspired cuisine had served up a big slice of humble spanakopita. In a statement, he said:

"I am really disappointed with what occurred last night. I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family.

"I regret the way in which I reacted, I am disappointed that I let it get to me, and I sincerely apologise for offending anyone. While I am not proud of my reaction to the situation, I was offended by a spectator yelling out abusive and derogatory comments about my family.

"I have spoken to Melbourne Victory FC and Football Federation Australia today to report the situation and I'm truly sorry that this has happened."


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