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banner Monday, 7 January, 2002, 15:21 GMT
Hammam: I did nothing wrong
Police with dogs hold back Cardiff fans at Ninian Park
The Cardiff fans were not a threat to the Leeds end
Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam tells BBC Wales his supporters behaved perfectly well in their 2-1 victory over Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup match at Ninian Park on Sunday.

It was David O'Leary's intention to start and end his FA Cup campaign in Cardiff and we, being nice Welsh people, obliged and gave him his wish.

I think his reaction after the match was natural - this a guy who is a winner and he is a very good manager.

But when people are disappointed they create all sorts reasons to be disappointed.

He is saying he is not happy with me walking in front of the fans but frankly, this is something I do every game.


There was no crowd invasion - there were pitch celebrations only after the final whistle
Sam Hammam

I have been in football a long time and every game I stand behind the goal.

I wanted to come back at the end of the game to be able to carry the Welsh flag onto the pitch.

I think he felt I had our crowd going which, of course, didn't please him.

But so what? I am like a mascot. I go around and get our crowds going, and if that helps us win the game, then great, I want to do that.

As long as I'm not inciting violence, which I was clearly not by the virtue of the fact that there were no problems at all.

There was no crowd invasion - there were pitch celebrations only after the final whistle.

This is a great football tradition and long may it continue.

The FA, the police and anybody in his right mind does not want to stop people celebrating.

Some of our fans did start taunting the Leeds fans, and frankly, some of the Leeds fans were taunting us.

Cardiff owner Sam Hammam is lofted above by jubilant fans
The fans were ecstatic after our victory

But taunting is part of the game. No Leeds fans were ever in danger because the stewards and the police were always 100% in control.

There was no arrest due to the pitch celebrations and at the end of the day, the police and stewards did their exemplary duty.

The real problem which I detest and abhor was that missiles were being thrown - these people are really abusing this great game.

But this is not down to Cardiff, or our police or not to Leeds stewards because what they were throwing was small stuff.

You cannot confiscate everything.

Anybody who is proven to have done that, I will guarantee we will ban them for life.

We are trying to take this club to the Premier League and such behaviour is totally out of order.

I will continue to do everything in my power to see these things never happen again.

We do expect an inquiry to happen because rightly, the referee is reporting certain incidents.

We have to deal with them closely with the police, stewards and under the bigger umbrella, the FA.

I will demonstrate we have done everything within our ability to control the game and apart from the coin-throwing incidents, which were beyond our control, the game was marshalled to perfection.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Cardiff City owner Sam Hammam
"Every game I stand behind the goal"
Former FA chief Graham Kelly
"Pitches can't be allowed to become battle grounds"
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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