Fan fighting halts West Brom vs Wolves FA Cup clash

January 29 – In a rare throwback to the dark days of English football hooliganism, an FA Cup match between fierce rivals West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers had to be suspended on Sunday after “dangerous and inexcusable” crowd trouble.

The fourth-round game between the Championship and Premier League teams was paused for almost 40 minutes after disgraceful scenes that had players fearing for the safety of their families inside the stadium.

The derby was stopped shortly after Wolves’ second goal in the 78th minute and both teams taken off the field by the referee. Play was resumed following a lengthy delay and Wolves saw out a 2-0 away win.

“The disorder that occurred at the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers is completely unacceptable,” the Football Association said.

“Safety and security are of the utmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable. We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities, and the appropriate action will be taken.”

The game had been designated high risk with increased security and an 11:45 am kickoff ordered.

Some of the West Brom players went into the stand to take their children to safety amid concern for family members.

“Fortunately no dramatic situations with the families or with any person happened because of course the lives are more important than anything,” West Brom manager Carlos Corberan said. “But of course the players were worried because they knew that the families were there.”

The West Midlands clubs have a longstanding rivalry and this was the first time they had played each other since 2021.

West Brom said it “condemns in the strongest terms the unsavoury scenes” and any “individual involved in the disorder will be subject to a club ban, in addition to potential criminal investigation.”

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