Celebrity chef and MasterChef Australia judge, George Calombaris, has landed himself in hot water after footage surfaced of him pushing a fellow spectator at an A-League grand final match in Sydney between Sydney FC (who won) and Melbourne Victory.
Before the incident occurred, Calombaris, who supports Melbourne Victory, walked onto the field post match with fellow MasterChef judges Matt Preston and Shannon Bennett and was then heckled by other spectators, who support Sydney FC.
In the footage, the Sydney supports can be heard yelling, “pay your staff” and “you dodgy bastard” at Calombaris, who then became upset by the comments yelled him, which included negative comments about his mother, before confronting them and apparently punching one, a teenager.
In the aftermath of this incident, the teen in question, who has not been named, has spoken to A Current Affair, telling them that, while Calombaris claims he was provoked by the teen, he ‘merely joined other Sydney FC supports jeer him about underpaying staff’.
“I was just like everyone else, was yelling ‘pay your staff’, and I think the crowd was just getting on his nerves a bit,
“He was yelling at me, ‘come on the field, come on the field’. I’m not an idiot, I’m not going to go on the field”, he continued
“He came over, because I didn’t come on the field. You can see on the video, I start to move back and then I just got hit in the stomach. I couldn’t believe it really”.
The teen has also described Calombaris’ actions “unnecessary and erratic” and continued to tell ACA that he plans to file a formal statement to police regarding the incident and, “You can kinda see in the video, it’s a bit blocked out, but he kinda goes out with an extended fist and punches me in the stomach”.
“He should suffer the same fate as everyone else”, he continued, “He’s a celebrity, he’s a role model, he shouldn’t be doing it. He’s been given a media pass to be on the field and he’s abused that privilege, that’s for sure”.
And while Calombaris also plans to file a complaint over the situation, he has since released a statement apologizing for his actions, saying that, “I was genuinely shocked when post-match football banter turned into personal abuse about my family. 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”.