West Brom vs Wolves suspended for crowd disorder ball boy

West Brom vs Wolves suspended for crowd disorder, ball boy hit by object – The Athletic

Three people were arrested and one man was taken to hospital after West Bromwich Albion's FA Cup fourth round match against Wolverhampton Wanderers was suspended for more than 30 minutes due to crowd unrest.

The police had to intervene when a fight apparently broke out in the stands at the Hawthorn. A ball boy was also hit by an object from the crowd.

Players were removed from the field while police apparently used batons to control the crowd. Fans were seen streaming onto the pitch, some bloodied.

A statement from West Midlands Police (WMP) confirmed that two people were arrested for public order offences, while a man was arrested before the game for possession of an offensive weapon. A man was also taken to hospital with head injuries.

WMP said they had “extra officials at this local derby and responded immediately when commotion in the stands led to fans streaming onto the pitch”.

(Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The incident occurred after Matheus Cunha gave Wolves a two-goal lead in the 77th minute, which contributed to Pedro Neto's first-half opener.

The game was stopped with just over 10 minutes left to play.

After a 37-minute break, the game resumed in the 78th minute. Wolves head coach Gary O'Neil and West Brom manager Carlos Corberan spoke in the tunnel and agreed the teams would come together again for the restart as a show of unity.

The Football Association (FA) has confirmed it will investigate the incidents, describing the incident as “completely unacceptable”.

“Safety is of the utmost importance and the behavior of those involved was dangerous and inexcusable,” an FA statement said.

West Brom say they “strongly condemn the unsavory scenes” which disrupted the game, adding that they will work with WYP and the FA “to fully investigate the incidents which led to the suspension of play “.

A statement said: “Any person involved in the disorder will be banned from the club, in addition to possible criminal investigations. The club will have no further comment pending the completion of a full and thorough investigation.”

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O'Neil added that he had seen some West Brom players “having to carry their children out of the stands”.

He said: “I didn't see much, I saw some overflow in the back corner from where I was, it was impossible to know what was going on.

“Obviously it was really disappointing. Anyone who wants to come to a football game wants to feel safe. Children and elderly people could be in this area and we shouldn't have to discuss such incidents because they shouldn't be happening.

“It is disappointing that things that happened off the pitch now need to be discussed and investigated. My overriding feeling is that I know there are families and children of players in this area and I hope everyone is doing well.

“I'm just disappointed that I saw some of the WBA players having to carry their children from the stands and that should never happen. No one should ever have to do that when they are disappointed. I hope everyone gets home safe and nothing stupid happens afterwards.”

Corberan said: “Of course we are completely disappointed by any kind of aggressive behavior that unfortunately occurred, particularly if you are close to this incident.

“That's maybe the summary of that game, when our fans were great for me.

“You created a special atmosphere. Everything up until the incident was incredible in terms of the feeling they created.

“Now we have to talk about something, an action that we are absolutely against in football.”

With the win, Wolves secured a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)