Birmingham to escape FA probe over crowd trouble

27 January 2011 03:30

Birmingham will not face a Football Association probe into the crowd trouble at Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final clash with West Ham.

The offences took place outside Birmingham's St Andrew's stadium and therefore do not come under the jurisdiction of football's governing body.

Blues remain under investigation by the FA following the ugly scenes which marred their Carling Cup quarter-final win over local rivals Aston Villa in December, when home fans invaded the pitch and flares were thrown.

Police personnel prevented any trouble inside the ground during Wednesday night's match by surrounding the perimeter of the pitch at the final whistle.

A total of 17 people were arrested in disturbances outside the ground, and Blues have pledged to aid the police in identifying other offenders.

A club spokesman said: "As always we co-operate fully with the police and, if there is any trouble at any game, we will always assist the police in identifying the culprits."

West Midlands Police said its operation in and around the stadium involved dog handlers, the force's helicopter and specialist evidence-gathering teams.

After the final whistle, police continued to monitor the city centre, transport hubs and bars for several hours.

Eyewitnesses said some fans were seen standing on top of vehicles before the match as supporters tried to confront each other in a car park at St Andrew's.

Investigations into outbreaks of "sporadic disorder" started on Thursday as officers used CCTV to identify those responsible.

Source: PA