Global Soccer: In F.A. Cup, a Fan’s Act Raises Specter of Stadium Violence


Chris Brunt of West Bromwich Albion was struck below the left eye by a coin thrown by a West Brom supporter after the team’s 3-1 F.A. Cup loss at second-tier Reading F.C.

Peter Cziborra/Reuters

LONDON — It is the oldest competition in soccer, and the essence of the F.A. Cup still thrives after 145 years: that on any given day, a team from the lower tiers can knock out a club from the highest one.

So it happened again on Saturday, when Reading came from a goal down to eliminate West Bromwich Albion, 3-1, to advance to the F.A. Cup quarterfinals. But what made the biggest news was the reappearance of another thing that the English gave to the soccer world — crowd violence — when Chris Brunt, a West Brom player, was hit just below his left eye with a coin thrown from the stands.

It may have been one fan in a moment of madness, but the police and the soccer authorities were taking it seriously and were looking for the suspect on Sunday.

The incident…

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