Southampton fan 'punched me in the face' claims mum at Wigan match
9:15am Monday 4th February 2013
WOMAN has claimed she was punched in the face by a Saints fan amid violent scenes after the Premier League match at Wigan.
The Wigan supporter, who was walking home with her three-year-old daughter, was caught up in clashes after her side had scored a late equaliser to deny Saints a priceless victory.
Police are looking through CCTV pictures to identify rival fans who pelted each other with objects as they headed away from Wigan’s DW Stadium on Saturday.
First reports of trouble after the game, which ended in 2-2 draw between the relegation threatened rivals, came from Southampton officers, who routinely travel to away matches with Saints fans as part of Hampshire police’s football unit.
They said that footage was being reviewed in relation to the “poor behaviour” of “a minority” of fans on both sides, who were involved in “disturbances” shortly after the final whistle.
Among those caught up in the incident was a mother from Wigan, who accused Saints fans for sparking the trouble, which has left her three-year-old daughter “too scared” to return to her home side’s stadium. She made the claims on a social networking website.
However, one Southampton fan, who witnessed the trouble, said that both sets of fans were involved in mainly verbal abuse of each other, which was soon forgotten about, with the majority of fans from both sides sharing drinks with each other in the pub afterwards.
Initial reports to police in Wigan shortly after 5pm claimed that up to 500 people were involved in clashes and that objects such as bricks were being lobbed at fans as they left the stadium.
But officers arrived within minutes to find just a core group of between 20 and 30 people causing trouble.
Last night Greater Manchester Police confirmed that investigations were continuing into reports of objects being thrown.
A spokesman added that it was still unclear which fans were to blame but that CCTV images were being looked at to identify the culprits.
Force duty officer Mike Booth, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “There were objects being thrown by fans but there were no reports of any assaults or injuries and nobody was arrested.
“We had numerous calls about the incident but when officers arrived on the scene the group in question dispersed quickly.”
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