FA launch probe into Aston Villa pitch invasions
The Football Association has stated a probe into the pitch invasions that marred Aston Villa`s FA Cup quarter-final victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
London: The Football Association has stated a probe into the pitch invasions that marred Aston Villa`s FA Cup quarter-final victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Play was halted by a pitch invasion by celebrating Villa fans in the closing minutes of their team`s 2-0 win over their local rivals at Villa Park.
Hundreds of Villa supporters then streamed onto the pitch in an even larger pitch invasion at the final whistle and seats were thrown from the end housing West Brom`s fans.
An FA statement released on Monday said: "The FA has contacted both Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion to request their observations in relation to the disturbing crowd incidents which occurred during and after their FA Cup quarter-final tie on March 7, 2015.
"As well as liaising with both clubs, the FA is working closely with West Midlands Police and notes that a number of arrests have already been made.
"All available video footage will be studied by the relevant parties to identify anyone who has committed a disorder offence inside the stadium and ensure they face the appropriate punishment.
"Whilst its investigation continues, the FA will make no further comment."
The FA`s statement came after the national lead officer for football policing questioned the scheduling of the high-profile derby clash at 17:30 GMT on a Saturday evening.
West Midlands Police made 17 arrests related to the game and are seeking witnesses to a disturbance at the Witton Arms pub before the match.