FA chair suggests hooligan life bans

FA chairman David Bernstein has stated that fans who "hijack" games with bad behaviour should receive life bans.

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He spoke out in the aftermath of Sunday's heated Manchester derby which saw United defender Rio Ferdinand struck by a coin thrown from the crowd and nine others charged by police in connection with the match.

Images of Ferdinand's bloodied face cut open just above the eyebrow and City keeper Joe Hart holding back a fan who had invaded the pitch following Robin van Persie's stoppage-time winner to confront Ferdinand have been published around the globe, tarnishing what was a truly thrilling encounter.

Bernstein said: "I think it's disturbing that we are seeing a recurrence of these sorts of incidents.

"We've had some racial abuse issues and we've had things being thrown at players. This is unacceptable and they (those involved) have to be dealt with severely.

"In my mind it's for the FA, it's for the whole game of football and the authorities to work together to deal with this in a most severe manner.

"I believe that, if necessary, enforce life bans for these people who need to be caught, go to the courts and be banned for life when they are found."

Bernstein said "copy-cat" behaviour had a role to play in crowd trouble, saying: "It's a difficult social problem. You have something happen and others tend to copy it.

"Therefore it's really important that matters are bought to a head and people understand there is no room for this in football at all.

"We will do everything we can within the FA. I know the rest of football feel the same way."

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