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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Birmingham City accept FA charge over pitch invasion

Police were called upon as fans invaded St Andrew's
Police were called upon at the Carling Cup match in December

Birmingham have accepted a Football Association charge of failing to prevent fans entering the field of play during their match against Aston Villa.

Fans threw missiles and flares and goaded rival away fans after the Blues' 2-1 Carling Cup quarter-final victory at St Andrew's on 1 December 2010.

Birmingham will now face an FA hearing on 28 March.

A Blues statement said the club was working with the police to identify those involved in the incident.

The statement read: "The club continues its close work with the police with a view to identifying those responsible for threatening to tarnish the reputation of the club and Birmingham City's image.

"Acting Chairman Peter Pannu takes this opportunity to remind all fans that similar incidents should not occur again and is confident we have all learned a lesson from it - both the club and those who breached the rules.

"Club officials would like to thank the FA for their assistance and communication prior to and during the investigation."

After the match, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish had said he was unhappy with the scenes, which he likened to the violence that marred English football during the 1970s and 80s.

"It doesn't look good when you see them running on like that. It takes us back to the dark ages," he said. "I'm disappointed. Fans shouldn't come on to the pitch. That's soured the win for us."

There was also a pitch invasion at Villa Park in 2002, the last time the two sides met in an evening game.

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see also
Birmingham 2-1 Aston Villa
01 Dec 10 |  League Cup
FA to probe St Andrew's clashes
02 Dec 10 |  Birmingham

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