Video footage has emerged which appears to show Aston Villa fans launching abuse at West Bromwich Albion players following their FA Cup quarter-final clash on Saturday evening.
As the final whistle blew, thousands of Villa fans invaded the pitch to celebrate their 2-0 win and the prospect of a trip to Wembley. However the scenes got ugly after claims from Villa midfielder Fabian Delph that a supporter bit him during the celebrations. And the Baggies' Callum McManaman was also involved in altercations with fans as he made his way to the tunnel.
The Daily Mirror have also received footage taken from a Villa supporter abusing West Brom goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and striker Saido Berahino as they left the pitch. The win was marred by crowd disturbances before, during and after the game.
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17 people were arrested throughout the day as supporters clashed in the Witton Arms pub outside the stadium. A small section of supporters also ran onto the pitch to celebrate Scott Sinclair's goal after 85 minutes. Seats were torn out by travelling Albion supporters in the North Stand and thrown at sections of home fans.
The FA have confirmed they are investigating the trouble and looking through footage to identify any perpetrators.
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The authorities have come under pressure for allowing a high profile Midlands derby to take place at 5:30pm, when the possibility of high alcohol intake by some supporters was high. The BBC has refused to accept responsibility for the trouble as the kick off time was agreed by both clubs well in advance.
FA Will Wait
An FA statement on Monday afternoon read: “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 7 March 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.”
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