West Ham guilty over Carling Cup riots but FA hand Millwall a reprieve

13 January 2010 05:56
West Ham and Millwall have both been cleared of charges of racist abuse by their fans but the Premier League side has been found guilty of two other offences of breaching Football Association rules.  

An FA independent disciplinary panel will decide on West Ham's punishment on Friday in relation to charges brought following crowd violence at their fiery Carling Cup match with Millwall in August.  

Millwall have been cleared of all charges, however, and West Ham have also been found not guilty of a further charge relating to missile throwing.  

Pitch battle: Stewards and police try tocontrol fans during the Carling Cup second round match between West HamUnited and Millwall

The FA would not comment on the commission's decision to find thecharges against both clubs of failing to prevent racist behaviour byfans 'unproven', though they are expected to do when the full findingsof the disciplinary hearing are published.  

Both West Ham's England striker Carlton Cole and Millwall's Jason Price claimed they had been racially abused.  

The Hammers were found guilty of two charges: failure to ensuretheir supporters refrained from violent, threatening, obscene andprovocative behaviour, and failure to ensure their supporters did notenter the field of play.  

The club could still face a range of possible sanctions, includingbeing forced to play games behind closed doors, though a heavy fine nowlooks more likely.  

The violent clashes led to 64 arrests and the stabbing of a Millwallfan outside Upton Park, and there were pitch invasions during thematch.  

Off: A West Ham fan invades the pitch in August

The FA said in a statement: 'An independent regulatory commissionlast week heard charges issued as a result of the serious crowddisturbances in and around the West Ham United versus Millwall fixtureat Upton Park on August 25, 2009.  

'It was alleged that both clubs failed to ensure that their supporters conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.  

'The independent regulatory commission, chaired by an independentQC, found West Ham United to be in breach of FA rules in the followingrespects: failure to ensure their supporters refrained from violent,threatening, obscene and provocative behaviour; failure to ensure theirsupporters did not enter the field of play.  

'The commission will reconvene this Friday (January 15) to consider the issue of sanctions.  

Stand-off: West Ham fans at Green Street near Upton Park after the violent clash with Millwall

'The commission found all charges against Millwall not proven.  "The FA will now await the full written reasons from the independentcommission before making any further comment.'

Millwall chief executive Andy Ambler said the decision vindicated the club's vigorous defence against the charges.  

Ambler told the club's website: 'Millwall FC welcomes the verdict inrespect of our club as we have always maintained that we were innocentof the charges.  

'As ever this club condemns all misbehaviour within football stadiaand works tirelessly to eradicate misconduct and to continue to changean unfair and distorted misconception of Millwall Football Club and itsfans.  

'We thank the FA Commission panel for their judgement and we willmake no further comment until we receive and consider their fullstatement on the matter, which we anticipate will be on Friday.'

West Ham confirmed they had been cleared of two of the four chargesinitially brought against them by the FA but said they were unable tocomment further until the disciplinary process had been completed.

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Source: Daily_Mail