Football Association to assist in coin throwing incidents

West Bromwich Albion's Chris Brunt who was struck with a coin with team mate Darren Fletcher
West Bromwich Albion's Chris Brunt who was struck with a coin with team mate Darren Fletcher

The Football Association will assist the clubs and the police over two separate coin-throwing incidents over the FA Cup fifth-round weekend, Press Association Sport understands.

West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt was struck under his left eye by a coin thrown from the visiting section as he went to hand his shirt over to a Baggies supporter following their 3-1 FA Cup defeat at Reading on Saturday.

Chelsea fans then threw missiles towards a group of Manchester City players as they celebrated an equalising goal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, an action described as “idiotic and dangerous” by a Blues spokesman after the game.

The FA is investigating both incidents and will do all it can to assist the clubs and police in identifying those responsible.

It is also understood that no action is likely to be taken by the FA against any of the clubs involved, because it is accepted that it is impossible for clubs to fully safeguard against individuals throwing coins onto the pitch.

Chelsea vowed to support any criminal prosecution and ban any supporter found responsible after it appeared objects were thrown from the lower section of the Matthew Harding Stand as City celebrated David Faupala’s equaliser after 37 minutes of the match.

And an individual was swiftly identified and taken into police custody.

“On Sunday, 21 February, officers arrested a man (no further details) in connection with an incident that took place during the Chelsea and Manchester City match at Stamford Bridge,” a Met Police statement read.

“The man was arrested for throwing a lighter onto the pitch and he currently remains in custody pending further enquiries.

“Officers continue to carry out enquiries into incidents of coin-throwing.”

Referee Andre Marriner was seen at half-time collecting three objects from the corner of the Stamford Bridge pitch. The first appeared to be a coin.

Brunt said he could have been blinded by the coin thrown at him at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and has challenged the supporter who threw it to come forward.

“It could have (blinded me) but it is done now, you can accept criticism and accept people having a go at you in games for not playing well individually or as a team but you can’t accept people throwing stuff,” he said.

“I can’t pick that coin up and throw it back at him. If I did that I would be all over the news and probably sitting in a police cell. It is definitely not on.

“I was pretty angry in the heat of the moment. I didn’t see what happened, I turned around and got hit by a coin. I don’t know who threw it , I don’t know where it came from.

“It is a brave man to throw a coin from there and a braver man if he admits to it. It would make him a bigger man than he was to throw a coin from 20 yards away to hit me in the head if he owned up to it. You are throwing football back 20 years with some of the behaviour there.”

It is understood West Brom have vowed to issue a lifetime ban to anyone found guilty of throwing a coin towards Brunt.