EFL condemn the unsavoury scenes that saw Lions’ supporters goad beaten Bradford players after League One play-off final
THE English Football League has called on police to take action against the “mindless” Millwall supporters who invaded the Wembley pitch on Saturday.
Lions’ fans spilled on to the turf after the south Londoners sealed promotion to the Championship with a 1-0 League One play-off win over Bradford City.
The EFL condemned the unsavoury scenes that saw Millwall followers confront some of the beaten Bradford players.
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The organisation now wants Wembley to work with Millwall and the Metropolitan Police in order to identify those involved.
An EFL statement read: “It is a criminal offence to enter the playing area and, whilst some of those who made the decision to break the law did so to celebrate their team’s success back to the Championship, a mindless few opted to goad the Bradford City players.
“Their actions were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the EFL.
“The EFL will be encouraging Wembley to work with both the Metropolitan Police and Millwall to identify those whose behaviour created the most concern on the day and to take the necessary and appropriate action.
“The EFL will also raise a number of concerns with Wembley as to how the fans were not only able to access the playing area but then able to get so close to the Bradford City team, who showed great restraint given an incredibly challenging and difficult situation.
“We cannot allow a set of circumstances to exist where the playing area becomes an appropriate place for fans to celebrate and Wembley, like stadiums across the country, have to be prepared to deal with the type of events that emerged on Saturday efficiently and effectively so as to ensure there is no repeat.”
Wembley Stadium has already released a statement announcing its intention to investigate the trouble, which followed Steve Morison’s 85th-minute winner.
Millwall manager Neil Harris and some of his players attempted to diffuse the situation by getting the supporters off the playing surface.
The EFL praised the work of the Lions boss and also intends to contact Bradford to apologise.
“The chorus of disapproval from the majority of Millwall fans forced to witness Saturday’s pitch invasion was a stark indication of the feeling inside Wembley Stadium at the end of the League One play-off final but unfortunately it failed to prevent some unsavoury scenes,” the statement continued.
“The efforts of the Millwall manager and some of his players to remove the offenders from the pitch should be complimented as should appropriate and welcome apology on behalf of his club.
“The EFL will be writing to McCall and his Bradford team to apologise for the situation they found themselves in.
“The efforts of one particular steward in keeping the Millwall fans away from the Bradford City team should be both recognised and applauded.”
The EFL has also noted a recent rise in pitch invasions and wants to work with clubs and fans in order to develop a plan to better deal with the issue.