UEFA is to launch an investigation into the crowd disturbances that took place during England's 2-0 victory over Turkey in Wednesday's UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 7 qualifying match in Sunderland. Celebrating England fans came on to the pitch after both of England's goals, scored by Darius Vassell after 75 minutes and David Beckham from the penalty spot in injury time.
'Incursions on to the pitch'
"UEFA has the reports from the referee, where the referee has made mention of the incursions on to the pitch," said UEFA's director of communications Mike Lee. "We are still awaiting the report of the match delegate but a disciplinary investigation will now be opened to consider the events of last night’s game."
Speculation about this leading to disciplinary sanctions seems premature at this stage, as the investigation will decide what charges will be brought to the attention of UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body. The likely date for the disciplinary meeting is 1 May.
The English FA has meanwhile launched its own investigation and acting chief executive David Davies said: "It was a very emotional night and we do not condone spectators on the pitch. But we will ask all the right questions to see if anything else can be done to prevent this sort of thing happening. But we do not want to go back to a situation where we have fences."
Police arrested 95 England fans before Wednesday's match, which was given high priority, with up to 1,000 police officers on duty to prevent trouble. Police said there were clashes outside the stadium and three people, including two police officers, had been slightly injured. None of the Turkish fans were involved in the trouble, the police said.
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