Brighton and Hove Albion have issued lifetime bans to three fans after what the club said was serious disorder at the FA Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion at the Amex in Falmer on Saturday (26 January).
In a statement the club said: “Sussex Police, working closely with Albion’s safety and stewarding team, will also be investigating and seeking to prosecute the three individuals, who are all Albion season ticket holders.
“Their season tickets have been cancelled with immediate effect, without refund, and life bans issued after three separate and very serious incidents: assault on a female crowd doctor, assault on a club steward and threats to stab, and assault on a visiting supporter.
“Additionally, the club are also investigating a number of other incidents from Saturday’s match and expect these to result in further significant exclusions and possible criminal proceedings.”
Chief executive Paul Barber said: “Once again we find ourselves dealing with a number of issues we do not want at this club. Firstly a small group of so-called supporters initiated a very cowardly attack on unsuspecting West Bromwich Albion supporters as they made their way along Station Approach.
“Another individual assaulted a steward and then threatened to stab him in full view of other fans including several children. Just as shockingly, another chose to assault and abuse a female crowd doctor while she was tending to him.
“Our warnings may occasionally offend some people who wouldn’t dream of behaving in this way but I can assure you it’s nowhere near the offence caused to us when our colleagues or our visitors are assaulted.
“We know it’s a tiny minority of people that engage in this kind of serious disorder. We also know that the overwhelming majority of fans come to our games to enjoy a day out at the football with family and friends and, like us, don’t want these people anywhere near our club.
“For our part, we are sick and tired of issuing warnings. All three incidents are now being investigated by Sussex Police and we will fully support any criminal prosecutions they may bring.
“In the meantime, and with very clear evidence of the behaviour described, all of the fans involved – several of whom are season ticket holders, aged in their twenties to fifties – will receive lifetime bans.
“Any individual who still thinks that they can behave in a violent or anti-social way, just because they are inside a football stadium, either needs to think again or stay away from our matches. We will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach as we do not want these type of individuals associated with Brighton and Hove Albion, or with our sport, in any way.”
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