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Wednesday 24 May 2017

London Stadium pitch invader arrested

A West Ham supporter who ran on to the pitch has been arrested and will appear in court later this month
A West Ham supporter who ran on to the pitch has been arrested and will appear in court later this month

A West Ham supporter who ran on to the London Stadium pitch after Eden Hazard scored for Chelsea has been arrested and will appear in court later this month.

Ian Crouch, 51, has been arrested on suspicion of pitch encroachment after Hazard netted the opening goal with 25 minutes gone of Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League victory on Monday night.

Crouch - who emerged from the home end - climbed over the advertising hoardings and got to within a few feet of Hazard and his Chelsea team-mates as they celebrated, before he was tackled by stewards and ushered away.

He has been bailed to appear at Thames Magistrates Court on March 21.

Two further supporters were also arrested - a 51-year-old who accepted a caution for common assault and Jamie Oliva, 18, who was charged with attempting to enter the stadium whilst in possession of a flare. Oliva has also been bailed to appear at Thames Magistrates Court later this month.

"Three people were arrested in connection with the West Ham vs Chelsea game on Monday 6 March," a Metropolitan Police statement read.

"A 51-year-old man [A] was arrested on suspicion of common assault and has since been given an adult caution for common assault.

"A 18-year-old man [B] was arrested on suspicion of attempting to enter a stadium whilst in possession of a flare and was subsequently charged with that offence. Jamie William Oliva (19.04.1998) of Cambridge Road, Stansted has been bailed to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court on 21 March.

"A 51-year-old man [C] was arrested on suspicion of pitch encroachment. Ian Paul Crouch (12.10.1965) of Giffords Cross Avenue, Corringham, was subsequently charged with going on to an area adjacent to the playing area under sections 4 and 5 of the Football Offences Act 1991. He has been bailed to appear at Thames Magistrates' Court on 21 March."

The EFL Cup meeting between the teams in October was marred by crowd trouble when rival supporters threw coins, bottles and seats at each other.

While there was no sign of a repeat of those ugly scenes in a game that otherwise passed off peacefully, the security breach will be another major concern to those in charge at the London Stadium.

West Ham had implemented a robust five-point security plan since Chelsea's last visit, when seven fans were arrested on the night.

So far this season West Ham have banned 97 fans.

Chelsea moved 10 points clear in the race for the Premier League title after Diego Costa doubled their lead before Manuel Lanzini netted a consolation for West Ham in stoppage time.

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