Millwall v Crystal Palace: FA investigates bottle and flare throwing incidents in FA Cup tie

Millwall v Crystal Palace: FA investigates bottle and flare throwing incidents in FA Cup tie

Jean-Philippe Mateta heads in the winner for Crystal Palace against Millwall in the FA Cup third roundFive supporters have been arrested so far for incidents during Crystal Palace’s 2-1 win at Millwall in the FA Cup third round.

One Millwall fan has been arrested for alleged discriminatory abuse, two more for assaulting stewards and another for a pitch incursion at The Den.

A Palace fan has been arrested for use of pyrotechnics.

Two people have been identified by CCTV in relation to missile throwing, one of which struck Palace’s Michael Olise.

These images have been passed on to the Metropolitan Police.

Millwall are still reviewing CCTV footage and the club are expecting to identify more individuals from both home and away ends for missile throwing.

The Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] said it takes racist and homophobic chanting “extremely seriously” and is working to “drive this hideous behaviour out of the game”.

A spokesperson added: “The impact on groups attacked by this type of mob behaviour can be devastating.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute anyone accused of these actions where there is sufficient evidence to do so.”

The Football Association has also begun its own investigation into the events.

However, on the matter of the alleged homophobic chanting aimed at Palace midfielder Conor Gallagher, who is on loan from Chelsea, the governing body says it can only continue to push police.

Referee Anthony Taylor’s report into the tie will be studied before the FA decides what to do next.

In the first meeting of the two south London rivals in nine years, flares were thrown on to the pitch, including from the Palace supporters’ area after they took the lead. Palace midfielder Olise was struck by a bottle as he was about to take a corner.

Benik Afobe had given Millwall the lead after a mistake by Palace goalkeeper Jack Butland, before goals from Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta completed the comeback for the Eagles, who host Hartlepool in the fourth round.

Millwall supporters also booed Palace players taking a knee before the game and then subjected Gallagher to chants relating to his parent club.

However, while the FA is aware of the chanting, it cannot decide what language is discriminatory.

It has been working with the UK Football Policing Unit and Crown Prosecution Service to try to get them to understand the impact of homophobic chanting, which includes sharing victim impact statements.

However, as the situation currently stands, the FA is unable to take action against clubs for this, as was the case on Wednesday when Tottenham condemned their own fans for alleged homophobic chanting during the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Millwall have said they will ban for life anyone found guilty of discriminatory abuse.

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