English FA to investigate attack on Kirkland

LONDON Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:37pm BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The FA is to investigate the incident in which Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was attacked during a match by an opposing fan, English football's ruling body said on Saturday.

Kirkland, a former England international, was knocked to the floor with a push to the face by a Leeds United supporter during an English Championship (second tier) game on Friday.

"We are investigating the events of last night and awaiting the referee's report," an FA spokesman said.

The 31-year-old Kirkland received medical treatment on the pitch and was able to finish the Yorkshire derby which ended in a 1-1 draw.

"We have appointed a senior investigating officer who will work with a team of officers to identify the individuals responsible for the incidents," South Yorkshire Police Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin told reporters.

Wednesday manager Dave Jones and his Leeds counterpart Neil Warnock, in television interviews after the match, called for tough punishments, including stadium bans and jail terms, to be handed out by the authorities.

Leeds issued a statement on their website condemning the supporter involved in the incident.

"Leeds United Football Club would like to publicly apologise for and condemn the actions of the fan who came on to the pitch at Hillsborough and attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland," Leeds said.

"The club will fully co-operate with both the Police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned."

(Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Mark Meadows)

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