FA brings charges over Millwall clashes

Martyn Ziegler
Friday 10 December 2004 01:00
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Liverpool and Millwall have been charged by the Football Association over the crowd trouble which broke out during the League Cup tie on 26 October, with the London club also charged over alleged racist abuse by their fans.

Liverpool and Millwall have been charged by the Football Association over the crowd trouble which broke out during the League Cup tie on 26 October, with the London club also charged over alleged racist abuse by their fans.

Four supporters were arrested and 68 seats ripped up during the match, which Liverpool won 3-0. Liverpool's Djimi Traoré was racially abused and there were claims that Millwall fans chanted songs about the Hillsborough disaster and Kenneth Bigley, the Liverpudlian who had just been murdered in Iraq.

Police in riot gear were required to quell the violence when Liverpool fans rushed towards their Millwall counterparts and a disabled fan was injured at the pitch's perimeter.

Millwall have been charged with two breaches of FA rules, for failing to ensure that fans refrained from racist and/or abusive behaviour and for failing to prevent spectators throwing missiles on to the pitch.

Liverpool have been charged with one breach for failing to prevent their fans conducting themselves in threatening and/or violent and/or provocative behaviour. Both clubs have until 23 December to respond.

Millwall's official supporters group condemned the decision to charge the club for racist behaviour. Joe Broadfoot, a board member of the Lions' Trust, said that Traoré had been singled out by Millwall fans solely for an incident during the game.

"Djimi Traoré was being booed because he fouled [Millwall midfielder] Marvin Elliott early in the game," he said. "There was no racist chanting at all during the match. And when the fans began booing, I remember wondering whether the FA would bring out the old chestnut about racism.

"It had nothing to do with racism. If a visiting player winds the home fans up with something he does on the pitch, they will boo him."

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