Brighton v Crystal Palace crowd trouble: 'Fans held for 45 minutes by police'

Flares are let off by Crystal Palace fans inside the Amex Stadium
Flares were let off inside the ground during the game, which finished goalless

The Football Supporters' Federation is investigating claims that some Crystal Palace fans with 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 taken to hospital after crowd trouble outside the Amex Stadium during Tuesday's Premier League game.

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."

Sussex police said there were a "number of incidents" at Brighton railway station which caused the delays for fans trying to get to the ground.

Chief Inspector Simon Nelson said it was the worst example of disorder and violent behaviour he had experienced in 12 years as match commander and said away supporters "attempted to enter the ground with pyrotechnics, knives and knuckledusters, which were found following efforts to gain access through fire exit doors in the south stand".

Six people were arrested.

Seagulls chief executive 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.

Barber added: "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.

Fans with tickets who were stopped from seeing the 0-0 draw have been asked to contact Palace's ticket office for a refund.

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