Sutcliffe slams violent scenes

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Football News

Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe has described the violent scenes at Tuesday night's West Ham versus Millwall Carling Cup match as "a disgrace to football".

Sutcliffe also backed the Football Association's call for life bans for those found to have been involved in the incidents inside and outside of West Ham's Upton Park stadium.

Sutcliffe said: "The scenes on Tuesday night were a disgrace to football. I completely back the FA's call for any person identified as involved in the violence to be banned for life and urge full and swift co-operation from all parties in the investigation into what happened."

The FA are examining the events that saw a man stabbed outside Upton Park and pitch invasions occur following West Ham's goals. West Ham have pledged to help with the investigation but could also face action themselves.

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed officers made several arrests and were scanning CCTV footage to identify hooligans.

Sutcliffe added: "We have made great progress in the past 20 years in tackling football hooliganism in this country and we will not tolerate any return to the dark days of the 70s and 80s when it plagued the game. We will never be complacent in the fight against football violence."

Both the Football League - whose competition the Carling Cup is - and the FA have condemned the violence.

FA director of communications Adrian Bevington said on BBC Radio Five Live: "We have to understand exactly what measures were put in place.

"I'm not going to condemn West Ham or Millwall football clubs for any of their actions - certainly not at this stage, because we don't know exactly what's been put in place. And we know there have been huge efforts on the parts of all our clubs to try to eradicate the problems and we've had a history of success on that.

"However, we have to make sure that the individuals concerned face such tough actions that they can't go to football again."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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