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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 15:18 GMT
FAW warns Newport over coin act
Alan Sheffield
Bandaged official Alan Sheffield receives treatment at Spytty Park
The Football Association of Wales has warned it may punish Newport County and some club members after an official was struck by a coin during an FA Cup tie.

Fourth official Alan Sheffield needed seven stitches in a head wound and also underwent a minor operation to repair a split artery after the incident.

The all-Welsh match, which Swansea won, comes under the FAW's jurisdiction.

FAW secretary David Collins said: "A ban could naturally follow, all aspects of the incident will be investigated."

Collins confirmed that the Welsh governing body had received the referee's report, but was waiting for film of the incident as well as a report from the police.

"Once all that has been gathered we should be able to make a decision pretty quickly, probably later this week," Collins added.

"We will then take a decision with regard to misconduct charges against Newport and officials associated with the club."

Gwent police confirmed that they are scrutinising TV footage of the match at Spytty Park, which Newport lost 3-1, together with video recordings taken by their own officers.

Detective Inspector Steve Webber said: "I now have a team of officers looking at this particular incident and we are liaising closely with the club in an effort to trace the offenders."

The incident occurred after Sheffield informed the referee that he had been verbally abused by County manager Peter Beadle, who was upset by a free-kick decision.

That's not what happens in Newport and I'm so disappointed

Newport chairman Chris Blight

As Beadle walked away after being sent off, Sheffield was struck by a coin, causing an eight-minute delay to the game.

Gwent police issued a brief statement after the game.

It said: "A small minority of supporters attended the game with the sole intent of causing trouble.

"During the game an object was thrown from the stand and hit the fourth official who was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital."

Newport chairman Chris Blight told BBC Five Live he was horrified by the incident and urged fans to come forward with information.

"I can't really explain how disappointed I am that one fan, or even a couple of fans, took it upon themselves to throw the coins as they did," he said.

"That's not what happens in Newport and I'm so disappointed that it has had the effect on this game today.

"If anyone knows who the perpetrators are, please be kind enough to contact any club official or the police, in confidence, to let us know who it is so that we can take the appropriate action and put this right."

The incident was just one of several recent cases of coins being thrown at either players or match officials.

There was also an incident at Barrow in another FA Cup first-round match on Saturday, while there have been similar incidents at Premiership matches.

Fulham's Claus Jensen was hit by a coin against Everton and Arsenal's Robin van Persie was struck during a game at West Ham.

Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick has urged supporters to help catch the culprits.

"It is absolutely unacceptable for players' or match officials' safety to be threatened during a match," Barwick said.

"We are urging clubs to do everything they can in conjunction with the police to identify the culprits.

"We want those people banned from attending matches. This is a recent trend which has to stop now."



SEE ALSO
Newport Co 1-3 Swansea
11 Nov 06 |  FA Cup


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