There were ugly scenes after the final whistle when Aston Villa beat West Brom to advance in to the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup and gain a chance to play at Wembley.
Aston Villa beat their local town rivals for the second time in four days which perhaps was the biggest reason for this unexplainable outburst by the fans.
Aston Villa are facing a severe FA inquiry, a hefty fine and perhaps the closure of Villa Park stadium as the fans chose the wrong approach to express their excitement. It brought back the memories of the football hooliganism from the early seventies and Eighties.
In any football match regardless of the result, players should never come in harm’s way but unfortunately that was the scene at Villa Park as the West Brom players were left defenceless against the mob of Villa fans which invaded the pitch once the finals whistle went out.
Aston Villa’s captain and goal scorer on the night Fabian Delph claimed even he was scared seeing the fans charge towards him in numbers. Delph said:
‘It was very, very scary. My armband got nicked. People tried to kiss me, and were biting me. It was dangerous.’
Aston Villa acted swiftly in issuing an apology to the FA and West Brom players and staffs but with FA’s ground officers sitting present at the time of incidence it would be very hard for Villa to avoid a punishment from the FA.
Villa’s official statement read:
‘We are very disappointed that what should have been a very memorable and proud moment for our fans was marred by the actions of those who could not control themselves.
‘They have let both themselves and their club down.
‘The club extends its sincere apologies to the Football Association, the West Bromwich Albion directors, manager Tony Pulis and all his staff and players.’
West Brom manager Tony Pulis took to the stewarding arrangements Aston Villa had prepared ahead of a game of this intensity. Pulis claimed, had Villa got their stewards in place the incidence could have been avoided as the fans were nearing the touchlines even during the injury time.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood understood the situation and the emotion Villa fans were going through but he did criticize the behaviour it led to. Sherwood said:
‘I didn’t know West Brom players had been hit. I can understand the emotions of the fan beating their local rivals twice in a week but you can’t condone fans coming on the pitch. We don’t condone it, especially if anyone was touched.
‘What can you do? The stewards did their best. I saw them rugby tackling a few guys. But when they’re coming in such numbers it’s difficult to stem it.
BBC presenter Mark Lawrenson was on scene to cover the game and he put in simple words of how he felt of all the fiasco. He said:
‘It’s like a scene from the 1980s all over again. Absolutely ridiculous.’
We are yet to hear anything official from the FA on the madness which occurred at Villa Park but we are witnessing too many incidents which are not related to the game but are indeed affecting our game in a big way. After Racism chants, Sexist remarks, Spitting now we have Fans Hooliganism, football authorities have lots on their plates at the moment and we are keen to see how they deal with all what is bringing the game down.
Quotes Credits: dailymail