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FA WRITES TO CLUB FOLLOWING PITCH ENCROACHMENT

26 February 2016

Club issues reminder to supporters after pitch encroachment at Walsall match.

  • Some supporters spilled on to the pitch at the end of the Walsall match.
  • FA writes to club for observations following pitch encroachment.
  • “The supporters have been brilliant this season, but you have to stay off the pitch.” - David Sharpe.
Wigan Athletic have been asked for their observations following the dramatic last minute win at Walsall last weekend, in which some supporters spilled onto the pitch – with disciplinary action against the club a possible course of action.

Following Yanic Wildschut’s winning goal, there were wild scenes in the University of Wolverhampton Stand where the majority of the following of 1,799 were located.

However, some supporters spilled on to the pitch, forcing the referee to report the incident, which has now led to the FA asking for observations from the club.

The club has a duty to remind supporters that entering the field of play is a criminal offence and supporters caught doing so run the risk of arrest and criminal convictions including Football Banning Orders.

Not only could pitch incursions result in disciplinary action against the club but another consequence could be that Wigan Athletic is not granted such large allocations for away matches in future as a result.

David Sharpe, Wigan Athletic Chairman, said:

“This season has been unbelievable for late goals, it’s been crazy how many there have been. I jumped out of my seat against Walsall like everyone else did who was a Latics supporter at the Banks’s Stadium.  Those are moments why we all love football and want to follow our team, and the atmosphere in the away end was understandably ecstatic.

“However, no one should be on the pitch, it’s a criminal offence to do so, it’s really that straightforward. Myself, the manager and the team need every single one of you between now and the end of the season, but fans celebrating on the pitch after a goal can lead to further sanctions.

“The last thing we want is for fans to be banned from watching the team we love but it's something that is taken out of our hands. I would hate there to be any repercussions on individuals or the club as a result of this.

“We therefore remind our supporters to stay off the pitch at all times and we hope there are many more moments to celebrate this season and in the future.”

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