England’s soccer season is only days old, but the specter of hooliganism has already reared its ugly head.
A stadium steward was injured Monday after he was trampled by a police horse while trying to restrain a fan. The incident took place following a Capital One Cup (League Cup) game between Preston North End and Blackpool at Preston’s home stadium, Deepdale.
The steward suffered a shoulder injury, according to the BBC.
“A steward was injured by a police horse,” a Preston spokesperson said. “He was assessed by St John Ambulance for a bruised shoulder and sent home.”
Hundreds of Preston fans ran onto the field after their team advanced to the second round of the competition on a late game-winning goal. Stadium security tried in vain to stop the onrushing crowd, but they were powerless to do so. It took the presence of both mounted and riot police to clear the field.
This game carried a high risk of crowd trouble, as Preston and Blackpool are local rivals who have not faced each other since 2010. Blackpool manager Paul Ince said there should have been more security present at the stadium given the nature of the rivalry.
“This is the problem in football and we talk about the respect campaign and you see enough incidents in football where fans are allowed to run on the pitch,” Ince said.
“We’ve seen goalkeepers get hit and players get punched. When are we going to learn?
“When you’ve got 200 Preston fans running on the pitch and my players are still on the pitch, who knows? There’s no control and is it going to take someone getting stabbed before we wake up and smell the coffee?
“This is a big derby, is there enough stewarding in the ground?
“We’ll have to wait for something to happen to do something about it. There have been enough incidents over the last two or three years that we really should be getting our heads together about it.”
See the police horse trample a stadium steward in the video below.
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