NZ footy fans are convinced Wellington Phoenix pitch invader was a 'set up' by Auckland FC
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NZ footy fans are convinced Wellington Phoenix pitch invader was a 'set up' by Auckland FC

It does absolutely reek of it.

Aotearoa finally has a local sports derby with a bunch of tomfoolery going down. 

On Saturday, Wellington Phoenix played their final ever ‘home game’ at Eden Park. The hosts were up 2 -1 against Sydney FC in the 81st minute when the match was interrupted by a pitch invader donning an Auckland FC jersey. 

The new Auckland footy club, nicknamed the Black Knights, only launched last week and jerseys are currently only available for pre-order. This has led fans to believe that the new club organised the pitch invader to gain some publicity and steal some thunder from the Phoenix. 

“100% set up by Auckland FC cuz if not then how the actual fuck does he already have the kit,” wrote one person on Reddit

“Screams PR stunt,” a Twitter user wrote. “Bloody hilarious though.”

“Gotta be a setup right?” another added. “A nice little bit of promo though.”

Eden Park’s chief executive Nick Sautner has denied he or the stadium knew anything about it and that the invader has been punished accordingly. 

"Eden Park strongly rejects any inference that it was aware of or endorsed yesterday's pitch invasion," he told Newshub. "Player, official and staff safety is of utmost importance to Eden Park and fans.

"We trespassed the individual for two years and provided details to the A-League match commissioner.”

It sounds like even he reckons Auckland FC set it up, as he messaged the Black Knights' bigwigs about it. 

“I personally contacted one of the new owners to express my concern about the behaviour, advising that any encouragement of unsafe conduct has the ability to compromise the family-friendly atmosphere and nature of sporting fixtures at Eden Park."

Auckland FC chief executive Nick Becker says he knows nothing about it, positing that the invader stole the jersey from the club’s launch event. 

Being a nuisance and then denying you did it: This really is a sibling rivalry.