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Millwall fans fight as Wigan win semi

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Premier League Wigan progressed to the FA Cup Final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Championship Millwall. The semi-final at Wembley was marred by outbreaks of vicious fighting among Millwall fans that recalled the worst days of 70s hooliganism.

Roberto Martinez’s Wigan side outclassed their opponents with their slick passing and movement and could have scored more than the goals managed by Shaun Moloney and Callum McManaman. Millwall’s achievement at getting this far in the competition was overshadowed by the behaviour of their fans.

TV cameras showed the shocking scenes in which Millwall fans fought and stamped on each other, even showing one fan attempting to steal a police officer’s cap. Fighting is rarely seen in English football these days, especially in the Premier League, but the Millwall contingent offered a reminder of why the club became a byword for hooliganism in the 70s and 80s.

Although there were only 11 arrests at Wembley, the police will study video footage of the trouble. "The FA and Wembley Stadium will work with police and representatives of Millwall to review all events," the FA's Alex Horne said in a statement. "We will look to ensure those involved are identified and we would call for criminal charges and a football banning order to be brought against them."

The Millwall CEO Alex Ambler undertook to ban any fans involved in the fighting. "Anyone associated with our club found guilty of violent behaviour will be banned indefinitely from Millwall matches in addition to any punishment they receive from the authorities. Having worked so hard to show the positive side of our club both on and off the field, we cannot allow the actions of a mindless minority to undermine that."

The Millwall manager Kenny Jackett was initially strangely reluctant to condemn the fans, but suggested that their reputation was hindering his team’s progress. "If crowd trouble is going to be continually brought up with Millwall it will hold us back," he said.

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