An FA Cup game between rivals West Brom and Wolves was delayed for 38 minutes over the weekend after violent clashes between the opposing fans broke out in the stands, with both sets of players being ushered off the pitch in the 78th minute of the game.
After Matheus Cunha scored to put Wolves 2-0 up, flares were thrown in the away fans’ stands and objects were thrown at Wolves’ Tommy Doyle as he prepared to take a corner.
Meanwhile, fighting broke out between fans in the corner of the West Stand and Birmingham Road end. West Brom’s Kyle Bartley had to enter the crowd to take his children away from the scenes.
A video circulating on X showed one man being escorted off the pitch with blood covering his head. The referee quickly halted play, and players returned to changing rooms as police and security rushed to the corner of the stadium to restore order.
In the first meeting between the clubs in front of supporters since 2012, the game had been deemed high-risk and security was increased significantly.
Play resumed 30 minutes later, however, Bartley did not return to the pitch as the game restarted, instead, he was substituted.
Police said that two men have been arrested in relation to the incidents.
The Football Association said it has launched an investigation into the incidents, describing the disorder as "completely unacceptable".
"Safety and security are of the utmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable," said the FA in a statement.
"We will be investigating these serious incidents, and the appropriate action will be taken."
There were no further goals in the remaining minutes of the game, as Wolves secured their place in the fifth round.
There had already been pockets of trouble throughout the game as flares were thrown towards the pitch by Wolves fans after Pedro Neto had opened the scoring in the 38th minute.
Wolves manager Gary O'Neil told ITV after the win the outbreak of violence between fans was “really disappointing.”
He said: “Up until that point, it was a good tie with good atmosphere. I'm not really sure what happened, the referee advised us to leave the pitch. We don't know exactly what happened.”
“I know the West Brom players' families were in that area, which is a concern. I really hope that everyone is OK. I'm not really sure what stoked it, but we got the fixture played without any more trouble happening.”
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