Celebrity chef and Melbourne Victory’s number one ticket-holder, George Calombaris, has apologised for getting involved in an altercation at the A-League grand final in Sydney on Sunday night.
Video recorded from the stands shows Calombaris, who appears in Network Ten’s Masterchef, shaking his Victory scarf at a 19-year-old Sydney FC fan who was yelling abuse at him, before approaching the man and shoving him in the chest.
NSW police are investigating the incident.
Someone in the crowd was heard to shout “pay your staff you dodgy bastard,” before Calomobaris confronted the teenager.
Police spoke to the 38-year-old, who was then escorted away by fellow Masterchef judge Matt Preston.
The Victory were defeated 4-2 in a penalty shootout by Sydney FC after a thrilling A-League decider at Sydney Football Stadium.
Calombaris said in a statement he had acted after “banter” turned into abuse of his family, and that he had reported the situation to Melbourne Victory and Football Federation Australia.
“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,” he said.
“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 [on Monday] to report the situation and I’m truly sorry that this has happened.”
In April, Calombaris apologised after his restaurant group was caught short-changing 162 of its 430 employees a total of up to $2.6 million, including staff at his Melbourne restaurants The Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic.
NSW police issued a statement on Sunday’s scuffle.
“Police are investigating an alleged assault at Allianz Stadium. About 8:50pm on Sunday 7 May, a 19 year-old man was allegedly assaulted by a 38 year-old after a football game.
“Police spoke to the men and will be investigating the incident further. Any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police should contact Crimestoppers.”
The teenager was not injured, police said.