Birmingham City pledge pitch violence investigation

West Midlands police have vowed to identify and take action against fans who caused the violent scenes at the end of Birmingham's Carling Cup triumph over Aston Villa last night.

Nearly 500 police were on duty in and around St. Andrew's and so far they have arrested seven supporters.

But now they are concentrating on rooting out the troublemakers behind the ugly scenes inside the stadium.

More than a thousand Blues supporters invaded the pitch after their side's 2-1 win.

They confronted the 3,800 Villa fans situated in the Gil Merrick Stand at the other end of the stadium.

A flare appeared to be thrown into the section housing the Villa supporters although it was then tossed backwards and forwards between the rival factions.

Seats were also ripped out and used as missiles along with other objects.

Supt. Steve Graham told Sky Sports: "The passion we saw 80-85 minutes was exactly what we are proud of within the English game.

"It is just a shame it spilled over into the criminal behaviour we saw on the pitch at the end.

"There have been seven arrests but that was over the course of the whole operation.

"When the pitch invasion occurred, we were more concerned about asserting some control within the stadium and making sure the crowd dispersed safely and securely."

Supt. Graham added: "We've started a post match inquiry whereby we will seek to identify people who committed criminal offences.

"Sadly we've had some experience of this in the past although it is still an unusual event.

"But we will put steps in place now to identify those offenders, prosecute them and, if they are convicted, they will be banned for along time."

Supt. Graham admitted: "I wouldn't say we were expecting trouble but we knew it was a strong possibility.

"It has happened in the past, we have got intelligence, and that's why we had the level of officers on duty that we did have."

The Football Association immediately pledged to carry out a full investigation and called for any identified culprits to be banned.

An FA spokesperson said: "We wholly condemn the actions of any individuals who have been involved in the scenes of disorder at St Andrew's.

"The FA abhors acts of violent behaviour and we urge the clubs and authorities to identify any individuals involved in disorder, and impose the stiffest available sanctions, including banning orders.

"The FA will fully investigate the matter in conjunction with the appropriate authorities.

"The whole of English football has worked hard to eradicate scenes of disorder from our game.

"Home Office figures this week showed a significant drop in arrests at the many thousands of football matches held every week, the majority of which still pass trouble free."

Birmingham have also promised a full investigation in co-operation with the FA and police into the ugly scenes.

A club statement read: "Birmingham City Football Club is disappointed with scenes at St Andrew's following the Carling Cup tie against Aston Villa.

"The club does not tolerate the breaking of any stadium rules and will conduct a full investigation in conjunction with the FA and police and take appropriate action.

"A meeting will be held at St Andrew's on Thursday to investigate the matter further."

Villa also pledged full co-operation with the FA and relevant authorities.

A club statement read: "Following the scenes in the aftermath of the Carling Cup quarter-final at St Andrew's, the club will co-operate fully with the FA in its investigation in conjunction with the appropriate authorities."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker