Football

West Brom v Wolves FA Cup match suspended after violent clashes between fans

Play was suspended during an FA Cup derby between West Brom and Wolves after violent clashes broke out in the stands and fans spilled onto the pitch.

The game at West Brom’s ground the Hawthorns was stopped in the 78th minute, moments after Matheus Cunha fired Wolves 2-0 into the lead.

Police and security rushed to a corner of the ground, where home fans usually sit, as the disturbance developed. At one point, West Brom’s Kyle Bartley went into the crowd to take out his children amid the ugly scenes.

Flares were also thrown in the away fans’ stands while objects were pelted at Wolves’ Tommy Doyle as he prepared to take a corner. There also appeared to be pushing and shoving in the stand, causing fans to spill over onto the pitch.

The referee stopped play after the violence broke out and the players were ushered off the pitch back to the dressing rooms. One man was seen being escorted off the pitch by police with his head covered in blood as fans chanted “let him die”. Another man was taken away on a stretcher.

Police said two people were arrested over the disorder and a third was arrested before the game for possession of an offensive weapon.

The Football Association (FA) has said it would investigate the “completely unacceptable” incidents. Play eventually resumed about 30 minutes later, but the incidents completely overshadowed what had been a hard-fought and absorbing fourth-round tie.

It was the first meeting between the clubs in front of supporters since 2012 and had been designated high risk, with security increased and the kick-off scheduled for 11.45am.

An FA statement said: “The disorder that occurred at the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers is completely unacceptable.

“Safety and security are of the utmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable.

“We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities, and the appropriate action will be taken.”

West Midlands Police said the two people were arrested for public order offences.

A spokesperson for the force said: “We had extra officers at this local derby and they responded immediately as disorder in the stands caused fans to spill onto the pitch.

“We worked with officials to get the game restarted as soon as possible. Another man was arrested before the game for possession of an offensive weapon.

“A man has been taken to hospital with head injuries.”

A smoke flare on the ground

The violence occurred in the corner of the West Stand and Birmingham Road End.

Fans invading the pitch clash with police officers

A fan is stretchered out of the ground following clashes in the stands

Xural.com

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