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Oct 28, 2009

FA to probe Oakwell supporter disturbances

The Football Association has launched an investigation after football fans from both teams were arrested after violence broke out and catering stands were ransacked during Manchester United's Carling Cup tie at Barnsley on Tuesday night.

• Holders go through
• Paper Round: Alarm bells ring

Barnsley said on Tuesday night they would launch an investigation into the violence, accusing Manchester United fans of causing "substantial damage'' at their stadium. The club has also made an official complaint to police, who will conduct their own investigation.

A Barnsley spokesman said: "The club is going to launch a full investigation as soon as possible after substantial damage was caused in the concourse of the north stand.

"A complaint has been made to the police and we will be taking a look at CCTV footage of the incident before we can comment further.''

Seven fans were arrested at the match at Oakwell after trouble flared, a spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said.

Now football's governing body have also pledge to hold their own investigation into the events of Tuesday night, with the FA waiting on reports from their crowd control advisor and referee Chris Foy.

"There is no place for anti-social or violent behaviour in our game," an FA spokesman said. "Any culprit found to be involved in these disturbances and identified as such by either the police or clubs should be subject to a lengthy ban from attending football matches."

Eight catering staff were trapped inside a food kiosk and had to barricade themselves in a store room for around 25 minutes as fans allegedly broke in and stole cash from the till and food from the shelves.

Stewards on the pitch also had food thrown at them during the violence, marring United's 2-0 fourth-round win. Late in the match, two Barnsley fans made their way onto the pitch and took the ball off United keeper Ben Foster to 'score'.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: "South Yorkshire Police can confirm a disorder occurred during the first half of the Barnsley versus Manchester United match at Oakwell last night. Police and both football clubs were disappointed by the conduct of a minority of fans.

"Police responded quickly and effectively to a spontaneous disorder caused by a small group of people that had gathered near to the central bar on the North Stand. Officers in protective uniform were deployed to restore order, disperse the crowd and ensure the safety of staff inside the area.''

A heavy on-pitch police presence was visible during the trouble. Police in riot gear were pelted with bottles as they attempted to restore order in the concourse of the north stand and police dogs were employed to drive fans back from the pitch.

The police spokesman also said that around 11pm two more people were arrested after fans jumped on to railway tracks in a bid to stop the Barnsley to Sheffield train before it had started moving.

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