ban unruly fans for life

LONDON - The English Football Association wants life bans for those responsible for the crowd violence that marred Tuesday's League Cup match between West Ham United and Millwall.

LONDON - The English Football Association wants life bans for those responsible for the crowd violence that marred Tuesday's League Cup match between West Ham United and Millwall.

"We absolutely condemn all of the disorder that has occurred at Upton Park ... both inside and outside of the ground," the FA said.

Fans clashed outside the Premier League club's Upton Park stadium before kickoff and supporters invaded the pitch twice after West Ham scored in extra time to beat the Third Division side 3-1.

A 44-year-old man was taken to hospital after suffering a stab wound.

"We will very quickly be working with all parties, including the police and clubs, to establish the facts," the FA continued.

"We expect all culprits to be banned from football for life - they have no place in our game."

West Ham said they would fully investigate the "deplorable" scenes.

"The club will not tolerate the unacceptable behaviour witnessed ... and will take the strongest possible action against anyone found responsible, including life bans."

Meanwhile, Sapa-AFP reports that fans of the two rival teams clashed outside Upton Park, throwing bottles and bricks and starting small fires as police moved in to try and stop the violence, witnesses and police said. Inside the stadium, fans later invaded the pitch when the final whistle blew as police and stewards battled to remove them.

Play was also stopped during the match as small sections of the crowd burst on to the ground.

Several hundred riot police, backed by mounted officers, lined the streets outside the stadium and a helicopter flew overhead in case of further possible violence as thousands of supporters left the stadium at full time.

Some West Ham fans reportedly clashed with police officers as they left Upton Park. - Reuters

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