Johnny Cantor: Passion and joy from fans is great to see – so long as it doesn’t go too far

Albion fans celebrate after the club sealed promotion to the Premier League last season
Albion fans celebrate after the club sealed promotion to the Premier League last season

Well the FA Cup delivered again with an upset few could envisage. Manchester City beaten by League One Wigan Athletic.

Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Christian Walton, on loan in the North West, had a big part to play and congratulations to the promising talent spotted by our own BBC Sussex summariser Warren Aspinall at Plymouth!

However, I’m not sure there are many who would have wished to see the manner of some involved in the pitch invasion afterwards and the rather unsavoury scenes.

I understand the joy at beating such a talented group but the players’ safety is always paramount. It was no surprise to see City striker Sergio Aguero will not face any charges after he was taunted, but he was reminded of his responsibilities.

You can understand the emotions pulsing through the veins of the supporters and in a way when we see and hear so many dormant stadia, it is refreshing to witness passion from fans.

Wigan themselves, as any Seagulls’ fan will know, witnessed the last pitch invasion at the Amex as promotion to the Premier League was secured last year.

It was not a massive upset but Albion fans of all generations celebrated history, not a huge FA Cup upset.

From memory, I don’t remember anyone being seriously hurt as they ignored the advice to stay off the pitch. In general, scenes such as those and at grounds when teams stay up on the final day of the season or win a title will continue and they add to the flavour of the game.

The appetite for the Premier League is unrelenting, to a large extent on the sofa it seems to me, but we must always be careful to manage different occasions.

All sports and in particular football has suffered tragedy in many different situations but it has also come a long way over the years.

Tennis players have been attacked from the side of the court. We must ensure that all competitors and fans whatever the sport are safe.

The notion of safe standing continues to be debated but not introduced unilaterally yet and it is just another aspect that needs to be continually monitored.

Most important of all, we all need to treat each other with respect. Players must show respect when they win, otherwise they can’t expect it from the fans.

However, supporters should also celebrate victory rather than wallow in others’ demise to the extent seen on Monday.

Promotion day in April last year passed smoothly inside the stadium as far as I know and Albion fans will be hoping there’s another later this season if they stay up and they can restart the party, safely, once again.

Johnny Cantor covers Brighton & Hove Albion as a commentator and reporter for BBC Sussex Sport.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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