14 Big, Beautiful Pictures Of That Extraordinary Darts Match Which Turned Into A Booze-Fuelled Fancy Dress Riot

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

It probably wasn’t funny for fans not involved in the crowd riot at the Darts Invitational Challenge in Melbourne on Saturday, but the rest of the world is still laughing.

Aussie arrows ace Simon ‘The Wizard’ Whitlock was locked in a final with Michael ‘Mighty Mike’ Van Gerwen when the boozed up crowd in fancy dress decided to make a chair pyramid.

Police were called in and up to 40 people were evicted. And while it’s tempting to say the whole thing was a bit of an embarrassment for Australia, the reality is, the rest of the world wasn’t all that surprised.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

Particularly the media in the UK, the spiritual home of the pub sport in which drinking for professional competitors was banned (on stage) in 1989 in a bid to arrest a decline in sponsorship.

The pics from the past weekend at Etihad Stadium haven’t helped the game’s image.

Or have, depends on how you feel about scenes like this:

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

The BBC saw it best, noting this “man dressed as Batman’s sidekick Robin wrestling with an English knight”.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

And “men in Hawaiian shirts and also a gang of Oompa Loompas throwing furniture”.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

“We’ve never seen anything like this,” was the call from the Bleacher Report.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

Amazingly, just three people were injured.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

Convicts will be convicts.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

Getty photographer Scott Barbour must have thought it was still Christmas.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

Play was halted pretty much until the hooligans got bored, as there seemed little any officials at the stadium could do about it.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

By the time police arrived and starting ejecting people, the entire seating area was trashed.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

For the record, “Mighty Mike” overcame the hometown hero to win the match 9-8, but witnesses say he looked “disgusted” by the whole affair.

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

For many Australians tuning in to the debacle over the weekend, the question was “How was this allowed to happen?”

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

For the rest, it was “When’s the next one?” and “Where do I get tickets?”

Picture: Scott Barbour, Getty Images

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