Maybe Haringey should have had sufficient (and suitably burly) stewards & police to be able to eject the preparators but even if they had and the thugs had been removes &/or arrested the damage had already been done.
I saw the faces of the players who had been abused and they were clearly seriously affected, as were several innocent spectators closer to the incident than I was. Whether the players were in a fit mental state to continue, even if the match had gone ahead without further problems is questionable. For what it is worth, in my opinion, to force or even expect them to do so would have been unfair.
I heard no criticism of the stewarding, Haringey Borough, Yeovil, (or their fans in general) or the decision to abandon the game. The only people I heard anyone blaming for the events were the handful of people acting in an abusive, racist fashion, who were universally condemned by all those who I spoke to regardless of their allegiances (i.e. those who were actually there).
Personally I think a replay is probably the right decision and I can see no justification in imposing sanctions against either club. Holding either club responsible for the actions of a few idiots which could not have reasonably been forseen seems both unfair and vindictive.
The home club is well known for being friendly and inclusive. They may have been naïve not to anticipate this sort of behaviour but the friendly atmosphere & the lack of abuse to opponents which is all too common at many if not most other grounds is totally absent at White Hart Lane. Remember they had similar high profile games last season (v Orient & Wimbledon) without problems, why should they expect anything different this time?
I think you've answered your own question as to why HB didn't have enough stewards or police and if perpetrators were ejected then what? Are they just going to toddle off home or are they going to cause more problems outside the ground? And if the police arrest them it takes officers away from the game and something more serious might occur in their absence.
I don't accept that HB players were too traumatised to continue and I don't see why the game couldn't have been played to a finish once some sort of order was restored. For the HB manager to ask the referee if he could gaurntee the safety of his players was ridiculous, how can any referee at any game possibly gaurntee that?
I suppose replaying the game was the only option, I just feel sorry for the fans. In the interests of fair play I think the game should start with a walk in goal for Yeovil.[/reply]
I don't think it's up to HBFC to decide whether a crime is serious enough to warrant calling the police. Especially as they deemed it serious enough to abandon the game. A point was raised yesterday that there aren't enough police available, yet Mrs Doobs was watching some tripe on TV last night where the Met Police were involved in a far dodging sting. I reckon they could've spared a couple of officers if HBFC (and Yeovil, of course) were willing to pay.
But, as you correctly note, they've successfully got that goal ruled out.