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Lions lament Wembley violence
Published : 14 Apr 2013 16:17:20Rss feed
Millwall have been left "devastated" by the violence that scarred their FA Cup semi-final with Wigan on Saturday.
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed 14 fans were arrested, 12 from Millwall, following the ugly scenes that erupted at Wembley, with numerous fights starting in the end reserved for Millwall supporters. Four police officers received minor injuries in the trouble, some of which was shown live on television.
Millwall have vowed to do all they can to root out the troublemakers, but are aware the reputation they have worked tirelessly to rebuild is in danger of being wrecked, and a spokesman said: "As a club we are devastated by the scenes we saw yesterday, which are in danger of undoing much of the good work we have done to try and change the perception of the club."
The spokesman added: "We are trying to find the answers to what happened."
Some Millwall supporters were seen drinking heavily in the car parks around Wembley two hours before the match was due to start.
Privately though, the FA do not feel this is a significant issue given the number of high-profile matches at the stadium that have had evening kick-offs, including, two seasons ago, a Manchester derby semi-final, and last year an all-Merseyside encounter.
In addition, Millwall featured in League One play-off finals in both 2009 and 2010 and both passed off peacefully.
It is for this reason that officials of the south London outfit do not believe the fact some tickets were put on general sale will prove to be significant in the trouble as they have adopted exactly the same procedure in the past.
The club were as astounded by the apparent sight of their own fans fighting with each other, which has led some to privately wonder whether there was a premeditated element to the disorder.
Millwall manager Kenny Jackett said: "I know how hard the directors have worked to give the club a good image in recent years. We've overcome many hurdles in that area. It has no part in football, it's not what people go to football for."
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