Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clubs Pledge Ban for Fans; Probe under Way into Violent Scenes at Upton Park

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Clubs Pledge Ban for Fans; Probe under Way into Violent Scenes at Upton Park

Article excerpt

INVESTIGATIONS have begun into the violence which marred Tuesday night's Carling Cup tie between West Ham and Millwall at Upton Park. One man was stabbed as trouble flared outside the ground, while there were also three pitch invasions during a highlycharged contest.

The Football Association yesterday morning launched an investigation, while both clubs have also pledged to conduct their own inquiries and ban any individuals they can identify.

These will run alongside police investigations, and all bodies will co-operate with each other in a bid to ensure the matter is thoroughly dealt with.

"We have to make sure the individuals concerned face such tough actions they can't go to football again," said FA director of communications Adrian Bevington. "We all want a big atmosphere at matches, that's part of football, part of the passion.

"However, we also want to make sure it's a safe environment to watch games and we've just spent the best part of 20 years working towards that."

Video footage, photographic evidence and witness statements are being collated to identify those responsible for the ugly scenes. Violence took place in the area surrounding the stadium prior to kick-off, with fighting between rivals fans and the police. Officers were later forced to use batons to quell further disturbances inside the ground. West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "This is a family club and the Boleyn Ground has always been a safe place in which all supporters can enjoy football.

"We are determined to ensure this remains the case. Everyone at the club is shocked and appalled at what happened and we will leave no stone unturned in identifying the perpetrators, rooting them out and then taking the proper action from both the police point of view and the club's."

Millwall have also condemned all supporters involved in the violence but would also like any investigation to cover the planning of what was always likely to be a powderkeg occasion between fierce rivals. The Lions were unhappy at only being allocated 2,300 seats and there were fears ticketless fans would travel across London regardless. …

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