Cardiff told to expect 'strong' action

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The Independent Football

Cardiff City have been told to expect a stiff penalty from the Football Association and FA of Wales' inquiry into the crowd trouble which blighted their FA Cup win over Leeds United.

The FA's executive director, David Davies, has warned the Welshmen that they will be dealt with "strongly" following a catalogue of incidents during the third-round match at Ninian Park earlier this month, including a pitch invasion and the throwing of missiles.

Sanctions open to the FA and FAW could include a big fine, temporary ground closure or even exclusion from the FA Cup. "There is an investigation into what happened at Cardiff," Davies said yesterday. "It will be dealt with, and I would expect it will be dealt with strongly. By strongly, I mean that there are considerable powers available to the football authorities and to the police who are also involved in this matter."

But both Davies and the Football League chief executive, David Burns, dismissed suggestions that last week's problems – which also included missile-throwing during Chelsea's Worthington Cup semi-final against Tottenham and Millwall's clash with Birmingham – were part of a trend.

"It's been a bad week and a dispiriting week, and we are not complacent," Davies added. "We still have fewer arrests than we had five years ago and many fewer than we had 10 years ago."

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