The FA Cup clash at West Brom’s Hawthorns ground was brought to a stop by officials in the 78th minute of the match, minutes after Matheus Cunha took Wolves 2-0 ahead.
This tie was the first meeting between the two sides since 2012, and had been designated as a “high risk” matchup, with increased security and an 11.45AM kickoff put in place to try and avoid any ugly scenes.
Sadly, these precautions did not seem to have the desired effect, with incidents labelled “completely unacceptable” by the FA eventually forcing the game to come to a halt.
Police reported that a 16 year old was arrested before the match kicked off for being in possession of an offensive weapon, with 6 more supporters also arrested in the aftermath of Sunday’s grisly scenes.
There were reports throughout the game of missiles being launched around the stadium, and a ball boy at the Hawthorns sadly required treatment after being struck with an object.
Scenes of one fan bleeding profusely from his head as opposition support chanted “let him die” sum up the level of violence on show on this particular afternoon. The fan in question was taken to hospital immediately to be treated for his wounds.
The violence eventually erupted later on in the match, with just 12 minutes left of the 90, near the area where West Brom’s families were seated.
The scenes became so ugly that West Brom defender Kyle Bartley was seen entering the fray to take his daughter to safety. He was later substituted so that he could remain with his children whilst the game eventually continued.
There were also reports that players’ families were spat at by the travelling support.
The match was eventually restarted 30 minutes after the terrifying violence took place, with the end result remaining at 2-0 to the travelling Wolves.
Both the Police and the FA are investigating the incident, with the FA releasing the following statement on the Wolves vs West Brom incident:
“The disorder that occurred at the Black Country derby between West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers is completely unacceptable.”
“Safety and security are of the utmost importance, and the behaviour of those involved is dangerous and inexcusable.
“We will be investigating these serious incidents alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities, and the appropriate action will be taken.”
Despite the match eventually managing to reach the final whistle, the football itself was overshadowed by the horrific scenes in the stands on what was a dark day for the English game in this Wolves vs West Brom clash.
Despite violence in football having come a long way from the grisly scenes that were all too common in previous decades, this latest incident is still part of an alarming trend in the sport that doesn’t seem to want to go away altogether.
It was only at the start of this month that Man City fans were attacked on a Metro link on the way to an FA Cup clash with Huddersfield, as the underlying violence in the English game once again reared its ugly head.
Wolves move on to the next stage of the FA Cup following their victory over West Brom on Sunday, and will play Brighton & Hove Albion on the 28th of February in the 5th round at Molineux.