The Football Association are gathering all available video evidence of the pitch invasion that marred Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup triumph over Manchester City before deciding whether to press charges.
The FA will also investigate the incident involving Sergio Aguero when he clashed by a fan on the pitch although there is an initial sense that the City striker was defending himself in the episode.
The organisation will also examine the half-time clash in the tunnel between City manager Pep Guardiola and Wigan manager Paul Cook.
Match referee Anthony Taylor has already submitted his report to the FA and that will also be taken into consideration before any potential action is taken.
Given there will be a significant amount of footage to go through – the FA will look at all available television footage plus the in-house tunnel video at Wigan – then it could be a few days before a decision is taken on what happens next.
The FA are also prepared to look at any relevant footage filmed by supporters and other people at the match to try and gain a fuller picture of what took place in Wigan’s 1-0 win over City that set up a home quarter-final against Southampton.
There is a general concern over the tone of the tie, also, given how it boiled over on occasions following the first-half dismissal of City full-back Fabian Delph for a two-footed lunge at Max Power. Aguero also angrily spoke to Cook who infuriated Guardiola also.
After the match both managers tried to play down the incident although Guardiola said he was annoyed at the way Cook encroached outside his technical area. Peter Reid, a member of Wigan’s coaching staff, acted as peacemaker in the tunnel and the incident did blow over.
City also appear set to make a complaint to Wigan in the coming days as they believe their players were put at risk by the pitch invasion. They will want to know whether the stewarding at the DW Stadium for such a high-profile tie was adequate.
City will then consider whether to make an official complaint of their own especially with what happened to Aguero who was confronted before being pulled away by coach Mikel Arteta while Wigan defender Chey Dunkley also tried to protect him.
The FA will be alarmed at the time it took to clear the pitch following the invasion with Wigan fans running over to goad City supporters massed behind one of the goals. Objects were thrown by both sets of fans with advertising hoardings ripped up and tossed onto the pitch.
There is a general stance from the FA that any form of pitch invasion or incursion is unacceptable and it appears likely that Wigan, at least, will be sanctioned.
Asked about the sending off of Fabian Delph for a tackle on Wigan’s Max Power, Guardiola said: “Red card. It was a red card, yeah… The ref decides what he decides.”
Asked what he had said to Cook, Guardiola added: “Nothing, stay in his position… Guys you want to ask me about football? Nothing happened in the tunnel.”
If Guardiola had argued against the red card he would have opened himself up to accusations of hypocrisy given his impassioned plea for officials to protect players from dangerous tackles. Instead he appeared infuriated by Cook’s behaviour with the Wigan manager defending himself: “I wasn’t refereeing the game there are four there with the fourth official.