West Ham sweat on results of Football Association investigation into violence
PUBLISHED: 18:08 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 05 October 2010
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West Ham are awaiting the result of a Football Association investigation before learning whether they will be punished for violent scenes against Millwall
By JONATHAN CLEGG
West Ham are awaiting the result of a Football Association investigation before learning whether the club will be punished for the violent scenes that marred Tuesday's Carling Cup clash with Millwall.
The Hammers overcame their South London rivals 3-1 after extra-time to reach the third round of the competition but the outcome was overshadowed by ugly scenes as fans clashed outside the ground and the game itself was held up by a pitch invasion.
The FA launched an immediate investigation into the trouble, which left a 44-year-old man in a "stable" condition having been stabbed in the chest as supporters brawled outside Upton Park.
West Ham could face sanctions if the club is found guilty of failing to prepare adequately for the cup clash, but an FA spokesman confirmed that the priority was identifying and punishing the supporters responsible for the violent scenes.
"We want to see the individuals responsible punished by the club and by the police," an FA spokesman told the Advertiser.
"In terms of the club, our priority with is to ask West Ham what steps they took before the match to prevent this, what steps they took on the day and what lessons they have learned.
"Of course, there is the possibility for us to take action against clubs but we will only do that in instances where the club has failed in their responsibilities."
Fans found guilty of trouble at the match face life bans after West Ham pledged to fully support the FA in its probe into the violence.
Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury has insisted West Ham "will leave no stone unturned" in a bid to clamp down on the perpetrators.
Duxbury said: "We will leave no stone unturned in identifying the perpetrators, rooting them out and then taking the proper action from both the police point of view and the club's."
The ugly scenes on Tuesday followed violent clashes on the streets of the East End on Sunday as fights broke out between rival supporters following West Ham's defeat by Tottenham.
Up to 100 supporters flooded the street outside Mile End Underground Station around 5pm on Sunday afternoon, hurling glass bottles - at each other in a street brawl.
Eyewitness James Darren, 29, who was driving along Mile End Road, said: "The whole street was full of people fighting. My children were really scared. We just got out of there as soon as possible."
A police spokesman confirmed there had been five arrests.
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