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Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 15:09 GMT
FA warning to Cardiff
Cardiff fans invaded the pitch after the Leeds match
Cardiff must brace themselves for a stiff penalty from the Football Association and FA of Wales' inquiry into the crowd trouble which blighted their FA Cup win over Leeds.

FA executive director David Davies has warned the club will be dealt with "strongly" following incidents of missile throwing at Ninian Park last week.

Sanctions open to the FA and FAW are virtually limitless and could include a big fine, temporary ground closure or even exclusion from the FA Cup.

Davies told the BBC's Breakfast with Frost programme: "There is an investigation into what happened at Cardiff.


It's been a bad week and a dispiriting week, and we are not complacent
FA's David Davies
"It will be dealt with, and I would expect it will be dealt with strongly.

"By strongly, I mean that there are considerable powers available to the football authorities and to the police who are also involved in this matter."

Football's image was further tarnished last week by incidents of missile-throwing during Chelsea's Worthington Cup semi-final against Tottenham and Millwall's clash with Birmingham.

But both Davies and the Football League chief executive David Burns dismissed suggestions that the problems were part of a growing trend in the game.

"It's been a bad week and a dispiriting week, and we are not complacent," Davies added.

Scourge

"But we still have fewer arrests than we had five years ago and many fewer than we had 10 years ago."

Burns admitted the problem at Cardiff was not an isolated one.

He suggested closer co-operation between the football authorities and the police should help to minimise the possibility of similar incidents in the future.

Burns told BBC Radio 5 Live: "There were one or two incidents at Cardiff, and the fact that it was on television exacerbated it.

"But it demonstrated that we all have to be seen to take action against what is a scourge of football."

Meanwhile Cardiff chairman Sam Hammam has accused the media of waging an "orchestrated and vicious" campaign against his club after last weekend's events.

Cardiff City chairman Sam Hamman
Hamman is banned from making pitch side walks

Hammam's comments appeared in an eight-page pamphlet circulated to supporters before Saturday's 2-0 league defeat to Peterborough.

"In my 25 years in football I have never witnessed an orchestrated and vicious media campaign like the one Cardiff City is having to face," wrote Hamman.

"Let there be no doubt there is only one outcome - triumph to the people of Wales and Cardiff City FC.

"What you are going to see is that all Cardiff City supporters are going to get much closer together."

"We will close ranks and fight together against this evil and wicked campaign.

"We will unite under the motto 'All for one and one for all' and in the end we will win."

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