West Brom vs Wolves: Fan trouble mars FA Cup tie between Black Country rivals at The Hawthorns

Play was suspended for more than 30 minutes when fighting erupted after Wolves went 2-0 up at West Brom, in the first Black Country derby since 2012; West Midlands Police made five arrests for public order offences and another for “possession of an offensive weapon”

Image: Players from both teams look on following disturbances in the crowd at The Hawthorns

The FA says it will investigate the “inexcusable” scenes that saw the FA Cup fourth-round tie between West Brom and Wolves suspended for over 30 minutes on Sunday.

Play did not restart after Matheus Cunha’s 78th-minute goal put Wolves 2-0 ahead at The Hawthorns as fighting erupted up in the home end.

There were also clashes near the area housing the away supporters and the players were led off the field in the 83rd minute.

Riot police were deployed to keep order, while paramedics were seen attending to fans. Graphic images also circulated of a fan with blood pouring from a head wound.

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West Brom defender Kyle Bartley was pictured leading two young children away from the pitch. Manager Carlos Corberan confirmed no players’ family members were hurt in the disturbances.

Five arrests have been made for public order offences at The Hawthorns, police later confirmed, with another man arrested for “possession of an offensive weapon prior to the match outside of the ground”.

West Brom said they “condemned in the strongest terms” the incidents and would work with police and the FA to investigate.

“Any individual involved in the disorder will be subject to a club ban, in addition to potential criminal investigation,” the club said.

An FA statement shortly after full-time called the disorder “completely unacceptable”.

“Safety and security are of the upmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved was dangerous and inexcusable,” the FA said.

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

Image: Police respond to crowd trouble in one corner of the stand at The Hawthorns

Image: Carlos Corberan walks across the pitch as play was suspended in the second half

Image: Wolves' Tommy Doyle attempts to take a corner while surrounded by police officers and stewards

Play eventually resumed with a heavy security presence around several areas of the field. The clock was reset to the 78th minute, with Wolves seeing out a 2-0 win to clinch a place in the fifth round.

The game was just the third between the Black Country rivals in the past decade.

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Sky Sports’ Danyal Khan reports on the events that unfolded at The Hawthorns

O’Neil: Players won’t have experienced this before

Image: Gary O'Neil gestures to his players to leave the pitch following trouble in the crowd

Gary O’Neil said he the trouble in the stands was “really disappointing”, adding: “I saw a little bit of an overspill in the far corner but, from where I am, it’s impossible to know what’s going on.

“Obviously it’s really disappointing. Anybody that wants to come to a football match should feel safe. Young children and elderly people could be in that area.

“We shouldn’t have to discuss incidents like that – they shouldn’t happen. I hope everyone is safe and there’s no lasting effects.

“I thought the respect on the pitch was excellent and the game was played in a really good spirit.

“I know there were players’ families in that area and I hope everyone is OK. I don’t think the players would have been involved in anything like it before.”

Corberan: The players were worried

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West Brom boss Carlos Corberan reflects on the fan chaos that broke out during the FA Cup tie against Wolves

Carlos Corberan admitted his players were “worried” for the safety of their families during the disorder between the supporters.

The West Brom boss said: “I’m against any kind of aggressive behaviour. It’s unfortunate it happened and that this is the summary of this game.

“Fortunately there was no dramatic situation with the families. Everything was controlled by the security people. But of course the players were worried because they knew their families were there.”

Bartley was replaced as soon as the game restarted but Corberan insisted the decision was purely tactical, saying: “I wanted to make the subs because they scored the second goal and Bartley had a yellow card.”

‘A good game ruined by fans in the wrong end’

Gareth Ainsworth speaking on Soccer Special:

“It looked like the West Brom players really got over there quickly, like it might have been the area where the families are. With him [Bartley] carrying the child it raises the suspicion their families are in there.

“A lot of fans have probably been in areas where there are opposition fans. Just sit on your hands, don’t celebrate. If that’s the only ticket you can get, don’t be stupid and celebrate in front of the home fans who are clearly aggrieved at conceding the second goal in a big derby that hasn’t been on for so long.”

Clinton Morrison on Soccer Special:

“It was definitely Bartley and he had a child in his hands and he was calling someone else down from the stand in that area.

“I’d be going in to get my sons if there’s trouble there. Any parent would do that.

“These are scenes you don’t like to see. A good football match ruined by fans being in the wrong end. There are all kinds of horrible scenes.”

Sourse: skysports.com

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