Global Sports : Villa Condemn Pitch Invaders

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Aston Villa have apologised to West Brom after their FA Cup victory was marred by two mass pitch invasions.
Play was held up during added time in Villa’s 2-0 quarter-final win when a significant number of home supporters spilled out fo the stands.
The pitch eventually cleared, but the final whistle brought chaotic scenes as thousands of fans ran on to celebrate with the players. There were also reports of seats being ripped out in the away supporters’ section during the 90 minutes.
Villa will now await word of any Football Association investigation into incidents described as “very, very scary” by their own captain Fabian Delph, who claimed he was bitten amid the mayhem.
But in the meantime a club statement read: “The club does not condone supporters invading the field of play under any circumstances.
“We are very disappointed that what should have been a very memorable and proud moment for our fans was marred by the actions of those who could not control themselves. They have let both themselves and their club down.
“The club extends its sincere apologies to the Football Association, the West Bromwich Albion directors, manager Tony Pulis and all his staff and players.”
Pulis questioned the level of stewarding after the game and said: “The hierarchy at Villa should recognise the need for stewards both ends of the pitch.
“It puts the players at danger and we don’t want to see that. We were seeing it in the 1970s and 80s and we don’t want to get back to that. I’m sure the FA will look at it without me poking my nose in too much.”
And despite the majority of invaders apparently indulging in good-natured celebrations Delph said: “It was very, very scary. My armband got nicked, someone got my left boot, but I could appreciate the relief the fans are feeling after a result like that.
“It was dangerous. Someone tried to take my boot off. People tried to kiss me and were biting me. It was scary.”
Villa boss Tim Sherwood said: “The stewards did their best, I saw them rugby tackle a few guys, but when they are coming on in such numbers it’s difficult to stem it.
“I can’t condone the fans entering the field, but I have to be totally honest I can understand their emotions, they’ve just beaten their local rivals twice in a week and once in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, so the emotions are running very, very high.
“But like I say, the club wouldn’t condone that sort of action, especially if anyone was touched.”

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