English FA investigates Man United fan violence

BY foxsports • October 28, 2009

England's Football Association launched an investigation Wednesday after Manchester United supporters were accused of causing substantial damage to Barnsley's stadium by ransacking catering areas during a League Cup match. Police arrested four United fans as the violence marred the visitors' 2-0 victory Tuesday in the fourth round. The trouble flared at halftime in Oakwell's North Stand, where about 4,000 United supporters were sitting. Eight members of the catering staff were trapped inside a food kiosk and had to barricade themselves in a store room for about 25 minutes as fans broke in and stole cash and food, police said. Police wearing protective riot clothing were pelted with bottles as they attempted to restore order on the concourse of the stand and police dogs were deployed to drive fans back from the field. South Yorkshire Police said one of its officers had a minor facial injury. "Officers are down here now going through the North Stand and we're proceeding with our own investigation as well," said Barnsley, which plays in the second-tier League Championship. "It's a hell of a mess down there. Doors have been kicked in, tills have been damaged and there's food and drink everywhere. It looks like a swamp in one of the bars." Police said two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested for public order offenses, a 26-year-old man was arrested for theft and a 32-year-old man was arrested for throwing a missile onto the field. All four men are from Manchester. In a separate incident, three Barnsley fans were arrested for running onto the field during play. English football's governing body is awaiting reports from referee Chris Foy and an FA crowd control adviser, who was at the match, while it plans to gather evidence from both clubs and the police. "There is no place for anti-social or violent behavior in our game," the FA said in a statement. "Any culprit found to be involved in these disturbances and identified as such by either the police or clubs should be subject to a lengthy ban from attending football matches." Two more people were arrested after the match when fans jumped onto railway tracks in a bid to stop a train from Barnsley to Sheffield before it had started moving. Violence also overshadowed a League Cup match in August, leading both West Ham and Millwall to be charged by the Football Association. Fans from the London rivals clashed with each other and police before, during and after the game at Upton Park. One man was stabbed, there were several pitch invasions and black players on each side said they were subjected to racial abuse.

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