Home » EPL, Featured, Latest, League Cup » Crowd violence hits Birmingham’s Carling Cup tie with Villa

Violence following Birmingham City’s Carling Cup quarter-final victory over Aston Villa, which broke out when supporters invaded the St Andrew’s pitch, left 14 people – including four officers of the West Midlands Police – requiring hospital treatment last night.

The two clubs, the Football Association and the police condemned the scenes, which Birmingham manager Alex McLeish said took football “back to the dark ages”.

Just hours before Fifa vote on the destination of the 2018 World Cup, the English game was embarrassed by the behaviour of both sets of supporters. Riot police were required to prevent a pitch invasion by Birmingham fans at the final whistle escalating into a full-on brawl with away supporters. A flare was thrown backwards and forwards, and scores of seats ripped up and launched from the Gil Merrick stand.

Two police dogs were also injured after being struck by missiles, and as hostilities between the two sets of supporters spilled out of the stadium and into the nearby area one pub, as well as a number of parked cars close to St Andrew’s sustained considerable damage.

Five arrests were made as an investigation into the unrest began, with police warning other trouble-makers to hand themselves in.

“This incident must have been very frightening for the vast majority of spectators who enjoyed the match and did not cause any problems,” said Superintendent Steve Graham, the match-day commander.

“Unfortunately, a visible minority used the night’s match as an excuse to cause trouble. I am sure that football fans everywhere will join with me in condemning the illegal actions of those who have brought shame on themselves, on their clubs, and our city. “

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