Sunday 25 February 2018

Aston Villa and Reading charged over FA Cup crowd disturbances

Police: Stand in front of the West Brom fans at Villa Park
Police: Stand in front of the West Brom fans at Villa Park
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood

Aston Villa and Reading have been charged in relation to crowd disturbances occurring after their FA Cup quarter-final matches, the Football Association has announced.

It is alleged that Villa and Reading failed to prevent spectators encroaching on the pitch following the clubs' sixth-round victories against West Brom and Bradford respectively.

Both clubs have until Thursday to respond to the charge.

The Midlands club's 2-0 win at Villa Park had to be temporarily stopped as fans spilled onto the pitch towards the end of the game and the full-time whistle prompted a mass pitch invasion, as Tim Sherwood's side booked their place at Wembley.

Seats were also thrown from the stand holding West Brom's supporters and some Baggies players were confronted by celebrating fans.

West Brom expressed their "deep concern" for the safety of the players after the match and manager Tony Pulis described the scenes as "disgraceful".

Reading fans also invaded the pitch after the Royals beat Bradford 3-0 in a replay at the Madejski Stadium and one supporter entered the pitch during the contest.

Reading lost 2-1 after extra-time on Saturday to Arsenal, who will play Villa in the FA Cup final after Sherwood's side beat Liverpool 2-1.

Press Association

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