Crowd Trouble at Crystal Palace Tie as Police Detain Fans and FSF Open Investigation
The Football Supporters’ Federation are investigating claims that some Crystal Palace fans who had tickets for the match at Brighton were denied access to the ground, held by police for 45 minutes and then “encouraged to board trains regardless of their destination”.
Two stewards were hospitalised after crowd trouble outside the Amex Stadium during Tuesday’s Premier League game.
It was reported that Brighton said Palace fans travelling without tickets tried to force their way into the ground, and turnstiles were closed early to avoid “major disorder”.
FSF caseworker Amanda Jacks said she is seeking “an urgent explanation from both the club and Sussex Police as to why so many CPFC supporters, seemingly all with tickets, not only were denied entry to the stadium, but were detained by police for at least 45 minutes before being escorted back to the station”.
Jacks also said she will be “taking up individual complaints such as the one from a father who was denied access to the stadium despite his teenage son being inside”.
One fan tweeted in response: “That was me. Police did nothing to help either let me in or him out. Eventually got kettled back to the station and had to leave him in there. I’m livid.”
Chief executive of Brighton & Hove Paul Barber said “a minority of supporters came to the match intent on causing disorder, which left several stewards with minor injuries, and one steward from each club hospitalised”.
The club added that “a number of Crystal Palace fans” arrived after the 19:45 GMT kick-off and tried to force their way into the ground.
“A group of about 150 fans – some with tickets – were then escorted back to Falmer station, and onto Brighton Station, before being placed on a train back to London,” the club said.
“While some genuine fans were left extremely disappointed and unable to get into the stadium, the correct decisions were made.”
Crystal Palace apologised to the “innocent supporters” who missed the match and to the two stewards taken to hospital.
They said “a small group of supporters” were responsible for “antisocial and criminal behaviour” and that they will work with the police to identify those involved.
Sussex Police told BBC Sport they “dealt with a number of incidents of disorder” and described the operation as “challenging but without major incident”. Six people were arrested