Football: Millwall escape FA punishment

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The Independent Online
MILLWALL HAVE been found guilty of failing to control spectators following pitch invasions during their match against Manchester City earlier this season. However, the Second Division side have escaped punishment after the incidents during the League match at the New Den on 29 September. The south Londoners have been warned about their future conduct and the Football Association will continue to monitor the situation with the club.

After a hearing lasting more than six hours an FA crowd control commission said it was impressed by Millwall's determination to prevent any further problems. The match referee, Matt Messias, gave evidence to the commission about the pitch invasions and incidents of coin throwing during the second half of the 1-1 draw.

Police Superintendent Trevor Brydges said there had been four invasions during the game and police had to stop fans reaching players and officials after Manchester City scored a late equaliser. Part of the trouble was blamed on hooligans from other London clubs attending the game. The bad- tempered match also featured a mass brawl between the opposing players, sparked after City's Tony Vaughan and Millwall's Paul Shaw were sent off in the 77th minute.

Six other players were booked after the scuffle - three from each side - and a furious City manager, Joe Royle, said at the time: "The home fans were refereeing at times." Royle also claimed some of his players had been spat at and threatened.

n Southampton have made the first move in their scheme for a new 32,000- seater stadium and have submitted plans to the City Council for a pounds 21m ground to be built within three years. The move would take the Saints back to their original home area of St Mary's.

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