Theo Walcott coin row: Arsenal forward unlikely to face FA action for stretcher incident with Tottenham fans

Midfielder's scoreline gesture as he is carried from the pitch with an injury enrages Spurs supporters towards the end of 2-0 FA Cup defeat

Emirates Stadium

The twisted hatred provoked by one of football's most bitter rivalries was shown in its full unexpurgated ugliness as Tottenham fans, teased by Theo Walcott, reacted with naked fury at the Emirates.

Walcott suffered a knee injury late in Arsenal's 2-0 FA Cup third round win and was treated on the field, then carried from it by a stretcher. The route to the tunnel took him past those fans who had made the short trip across north London and they bombarded both Walcott and the stretcher bearers with coins and plastic bottles after the England international gestured to them with his hands indicating the 2-0 scoreline.

The Football Association, which takes a dim view of players inciting violence, are expected to look into the incident but it is understood Walcott is unlikely to be charged. Unlike Jack Wilshere's 'giving the finger' to Manchester City fans last month - for which he received a one-match ban - Walcott's gesture was not in itself offensive. While it undoubtedly offended Tottenham fans Arsenal will point out to the FA that Walcott was subjected to a hail of coins before his gesture.

“The doctor said coins were raining over his head while he was treating Theo [on the pitch] and he had to protect him,” said Arsene Wenger, “maybe that is why he did that.” The Arsenal manager added: “If the FA judge is it offensive what can I do but I don't think he will be in trouble. What he did was not offensive. He does not look aggressive, he is smiling.”

Tottenham's head coach Tim Sherwood said he had not seen the incident but he condemned any Tottenham fans who threw coins. “If they did that it is a problem.” As for Walcott's gesture Sherwood said it was “maybe it was a bit of banter.”

One player who could be charged by the FA - and banned for three matches, is Tottenham's young Frenchman Nabil Bentaleb who marred his full debut by stamping on Nacho Monreal's arm. “The referee missed it,” said Wenger.

Wenger was unsure of the exact nature of Walcott's injury - “it is either stretched ligaments or a kick”. Thomas Vermaelen was also withdrawn after being kicked. Wenger also confirmed that Nicklas Bentner will be out for a month with the ankle injury sufered scoring against Cardiff on New Year's Day.

Arsenal's goals came from Santi Cazorla, after 32 minutes, and Tomas Rosicky half-an-hour later.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
football
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?