There have been five arrests following Millwall and Crystal Palace’s clash on Saturday, writes Herbie Russell…
The Football Association have launched its own investigations following the match where footage is said to show rival fans fighting, players being booed for taking the knee, homophobic chants, a player being hit by a bottle and a flare being thrown onto the pitch.
The FA Cup third-round tie, broadcasted live on ITV1, saw Millwall lose 2-1 after goals from Palace’s Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta.
A brawl between rival fans outside the ground forced police to intervene before the match, and booing could be heard as Crystal Palace players took the knee-stance moments before kick-off.
In the second half, a flying bottle hit Palace midfielder Olise, allegedly prompting him to taunt opposition fans.
A flare was also seen to be thrown onto the pitch from the Crystal Palace fans in the away end and firecrackers were set off also by the travelling support.
Millwall supporters are heard hurling homophobic abuse at Palace starlet and Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher calling him a ‘rent boy’.
Edleen John, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Director at the FA said: “We absolutely condemn the use of the word ‘rent boy’.
“It’s really negative, it’s not welcoming, it doesn’t create a sense of belonging, and frankly it’s disgusting.”
The FA has been working with the UK Football Policing Unit and Crown Prosecution Service to try to get them to understand the severity of homophobic chanting.
Millwall are said to be still reviewing CCTV footage and the club are expecting to identify more individuals from home and away ends for missile throwing.
One Millwall fan has been arrested for alleged discriminatory abuse, while two more are said to have assault stewards and another for an alleged pitch incursion. A Palace supporter has been arrested for allegedly using pyrotechnics
In a statement, a Millwall club spokesperson said: “Millwall Football Club has a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of discrimination and will investigate any incident of alleged abuse accordingly.
“As is club policy, any individual found guilty of discriminatory abuse is issued with an immediate lifetime ban.”
Millwall manager, Gary Rowett, condemned the disruption saying: “I don’t think either of the clubs want to see any of those moments off the pitch.”
Crystal Palace manager, Patrick Viera said: “We as a football club are against any kind of discrimination, and of course, this is not something we want to see”.
Millwall will next face Nottingham Forest on January 15 at the Den in a crucial Championship match.