(Photo: Action Images)
By Adam Ellis
The EFL has released a statement condemning the actions of a minority of Millwall fans who invaded the pitch at Wembley at the end of the League One play-off final.
Millwall’s 1-0 victory secured their return to the Championship after two seasons spent in League One. But at the final whistle ‘unsavoury’ scenes marred the Lions triumph as hundreds of fans ran on to the field of play.
The actions of the individuals were met with boos from both Bradford and Millwall supporters, as Neil Harris and Steve Morison went over to urge them back to their seats in the stand.
The statement commented that no action would be taken against Millwall FC but the EFL will cooperate with Wembley and the Metropolitan Police to identify individuals who goaded or taunted dejected Bradford City players.
“It is a criminal offence to enter the playing area and whilst some of those who made the decision to break the law did so to celebrate their team’s success back to the Championship, a mindless few opted to goad the Bradford City players.
“Their actions were completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the EFL. The efforts of the Millwall manager and some of his players to remove the offenders from the pitch should be complemented as should Neil Harris’ appropriate and welcome apology on behalf of his Club.
“The EFL will be writing to Stuart McCall and his Bradford team to apologise for the situation they found themselves in.
“In addition, the EFL will be encouraging Wembley to work with both the Metropolitan Police and Millwall to identify those whose behaviour created the most concern on the day and to take the necessary and appropriate action.
An increase in pitch invasions has become a cause of concern for the EFL. Leyton Orient’s pitch invasion as a means of protest against their owner Francesco Becchetti saw their match with Colchester United seemingly abandoned only for it to recontinue behind closed doors in an empty stadium.
The statement addressed this issue by saying “The EFL has witnessed an increased number of pitch incursions this season and will look to work with its clubs and supporter groups across the country to establish what practical measures can be put in place to reduce the number of instances in the future.”