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Wednesday, 11 September, 2002, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Inquiry promised into football violence
Vicarage Road
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes at Vicarage Road.
Football bosses have promised action after the violence among rival fans which marred the start of Tuesday's Worthington Cup match between Watford and Luton Town.

One fan was taken to hospital with a head wound after the running battles on the Vicarage Road pitch at Watford before the start of the match.

Kick-off was delayed for 15 minutes while riot police restored order, and two fans were arrested.

The Football Association (FA) has said it will investigate the violence, and the clubs have threatened to bar for life the fans involved.

'Disgraceful scenes'

Spokesman Adrian Bevington of the FA said: "We have to wait for the match official's report and police reports but we are now investigating serious crowd trouble."

The Football League said it would join forces with the FA to investigate the "disgraceful scenes".

Watford Football Club was due to hold urgent talks with Hertfordshire Police on Wednesday morning.

Watford chief executive Tim Shaw told BBC Three Counties Radio the disorder had been "unacceptable".

"We don't tolerate it here, as our supporters know, and if we are able to track down any Watford supporters, if they were involved, they'll be dealt with accordingly."

Bitter rivals

He said both clubs would now be examining CCTV footage and photos to identify those involved with a view to banning them from the grounds.

"Be they Watford or Luton supporters, I'm sure that each club will take the necessary action to ensure that these people don't blight our game any further."

The two neighbouring sides are bitter rivals, but had not met each other for four years prior to the match.

Police were called before the game began after reports of disturbances in Watford town centre .

The game was eventually won 2-1 by Luton.


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