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West Brom vs Wolves suspended amid crowd trouble, ball boy hit by object – The Athletic

Six people have been arrested and a man has been taken to hospital as West Bromwich Albion’s FA Cup fourth-round clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers was suspended for over 30 minutes following crowd trouble.

Police were forced to intervene as fights appeared to break out in the stands at the Hawthorns. A ball boy was also hit by an object from the crowd.

Players were removed from the field while police appeared to use batons to manage the crowd. Fans were seen spilling onto the pitch, with some bloodied.

A statement from West Midlands Police (WMP) confirmed that five people were arrested for public order offences, while a man was arrested before the game for possession of an offensive weapon. A man was also taken to hospital with head injuries.

WMP said that they “had extra officers at this local derby and they responded immediately as disorder in the stands caused fans to spill onto the pitch”.

(Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The incident happened after Matheus Cunha had put Wolves two goals ahead in the 77th minute, adding to Pedro Neto’s opener in the first half.

The match was suspended with just over 10 minutes of normal time to play.

Play was resumed inside the 78th minute following a 37-minute break. Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil and West Brom manager Carlos Corberan spoke in the tunnel and agreed that the teams would come back out together for the restart as a show of unity.

The Football Association (FA) has confirmed they will be investigating the events that happened, labelling the incident as “completely unacceptable”.

“Safety and security are of the upmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved was dangerous and inexcusable,” an FA statement read.

West Brom say they condemn “in the strongest terms the unsavoury scenes” which disrupted the game, adding that they will work with WYP and the FA “to fully investigate the incidents which resulted in a suspension to the game”.

A statement read: “Any individual involved in the disorder will be subject to a club ban, in addition to potential criminal investigation. The club will make no further comment until the conclusion of a full and thorough investigation.”

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O’Neil added that he saw some West Brom players “having to carry their children out of the stand”.

He said: “I didn’t see much, saw a bit of an overspill in the far corner from where I am it was impossible to know what was going on.

“Obviously it was really disappointing, anyone that wants to come to a football match they want to feel safe, children and elderly people could be in that area and we shouldn’t have to discuss incidents like that because they shouldn’t happen.

“Disappointing that things that happened off the pitch now need to be spoken about and I’m sure looked into. My overriding feeling is that I know there were players’ families and children in that area and I hope everyone is okay.

“I’m just disappointed that I saw some of the WBA players having to carry their children out of the stand and that should never ever be a thing. Nobody should ever need to do that, disappointed. I hope everyone gets home safe and there’s nothing stupid happening after.”

Corberan said: “Of course we’re totally disappointed with any types of aggressive behaviour that have unfortunately happened, especially when you’re standing close to this incident.

“This is maybe the summary of this game when our fans for me were amazing.

“They created a special atmosphere. Until the incident, everything was unbelievable in terms of the feeling they created.

“Now we have to talk about something, an action which we are totally against in football.”

Wolves secured a spot in the FA Cup fifth-round with the victory.

(Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)