The Football Association has launched an investigation into an altercation between Crawley defender Paul Connolly and a fan during last night’s defeat at Brentford.
The incident was caught on video and appears to show the Reds player raising his arm and slapping a Brentford fan who had thrown the ball at him towards the end of the League One match.
It caused an angry reaction amongst the home supporters at that section of the ground before stewards moved in to calm the situation down.
Right back Connolly wasn’t booked by referee Stephen Martin at the time but could now face disciplinary action from the FA, with Brentford also confirming they will also investigate the incident.
Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin said last night: “It does look as though the ball went into the crowd, and from what I could see it was thrown towards the player. He didn’t like it and there appeared to be an exchange, whether it was a slap or a punch or whatever.
“The referee has moved in and a plastic bottle has come onto the pitch, so no doubt we’ll here from the Football League about that one as well.
“The club will wait to see what the police say and then take it up with Crawley. If the Football League ask us for our input we will investigate it and let them know from our point of view what’s gone on.”
Connolly himself sought to play the altercation down, tweeting last night: “A total blown up incident at the game last night! Handbags! We move on.”
Crawley Town manager John Gregory said afterwards he had been too far away from the incident to see it.
Reds lost the game 1-0 to stay three points above the relegation places.