FA awaits report on Cardiff chaos

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The Independent Online

A Football Association spokesman last night said the game's governing body would await a report form the referee Andy D'Urso before deciding whether to launch an investigation into crowd disturbances during and after Cardiff City's FA Cup third-round victory over Leeds United at Ninian Park yesterday.

It promises to be a packed report. D'Urso is sure to mention objects being thrown from the terraces during the match – particularly as one missile hit him and left him requiring treatment.

He may also mention the actions of the Cardiff owner, Sam Hammam, who provocatively walked in front of visiting Leeds fans towards the end of the match to stand behind the goal Cardiff were attacking. There also followed a pitch invasion and crowd trouble at the end of the match.

However, the Cardiff manager, Alan Cork defended his team's fans, saying: "We've got passionate fans. If you can't enjoy yourselves when you've beaten Leeds, when can you?" Still in ebullient mood after his team's 2-1 victory over the Premiership leaders, Cork added: "They will have a good drink and cause havoc all night."

The Leeds manager, David O'Leary, was less enthusiastic and urged the FA to examine several incidents during the game regarding objects that were thrown from the crowd.

"I hope the FA look at it," he said. "The amount of bottles thrown – small liquor bottles – thrown at my players. I thought that had gone in this country... a scandalous amount of bottles came on and hit my players."

Afterwards Hammam, drenched in champagne by his players, paid tribute to the fanatical support at Ninian Park but maintained that the FA Cup was "still not important" and that getting the club promoted remained his top priority. "The main thing is promotion to the First Division," Hammam said. "This is for all the people of Wales. This is an example of what could happen if Cardiff ever became a Premiership team. You can see what it means to the people. We want to play these teams every week and beat them twice a year."

The Cardiff captain, Graham Kavanagh – whose stunning free-kick brought the Second Division side level at a critical stage of the first half – described his goal as "one to remember". Kavanagh's equaliser and the controversial sending off of Alan Smith, who shrugged off Andy Legg with a flailing arm, turned the game in Cardiff's favour.

"It showed the character of the boys the way we came back from being 1-0 down," said Kavanagh. "We knew it was going to be a very tough game but we've got the result we wanted and the way we did it was brilliant."

Cork was pleased his team worked to their game plan and claimed, on yesterday's performance, they were good enough to compete with the best. "The result today showed that we can beat the top teams," Cork said. "We've had a bit of luck – the referee made a decision to send the boy Smith off – although I've not seen the replay yet.

"We had a game plan and we stuck to it – the plan worked very well and I'm delighted for everyone. We said at half time: 'Don't get carried away – you've got to go out and do the same again because Leeds are a great side.' If we dropped down a bit from the level in the first half we knew we'd get beat, even against 10 men. Our lads have their moment now and I'm sure they'll treasure it all their lives."

Leeds were dealt another blow when their England defender Rio Ferdinand was forced off with an ankle injury early in the match.

"I'm a bit fed up with the last 12 months at this football club. The amount of players out is absolutely scandalous," O'Leary said. "I wanted to win this competition. I thought we could at least get a draw out of this one and take it back to Elland Road. But our priority is getting this club back into the Champions' League. It's no good me winning the FA Cup and then going to the plc board saying we're not in the Champions' League."

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