Ipswich: Probe launched after alleged attack at Portman Road

IPSWICH: Police today expect to make an arrest after an alleged assault on an Ipswich Town steward who is said to have been attacked inside the club’s exclusive Centre Spot.

The incident, which occurred during Tuesday’s 5-2 defeat to Southampton, is said to have occurred during a dispute between the male steward and a middle-aged Ipswich fan.

The man at the centre of the allegation is reported to be a well-known supporter of the club.

The alleged bust-up is understood to have begun just before the end of half-time when the steward is thought to have challenged the fan’s right to move from the bar and restaurant area to the executive boxes.

After a discussion about authorised access the man was reported to have been asked to leave by the club official.

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Although it is understood he initially left the area, the supporter returned and is said to have approached the steward, in view of several other fans, about his ejection.

It was alleged that the supporter was asked to leave again. However, a row is then said to have broken out with the steward allegedly being subjected to abuse.

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The situation is reported to have become increasingly tense.

With feelings appearing to run high the situation is said to have boiled over from a verbal confrontation to a physical one. It is alleged that the fan attempted to punch and knee the steward in the face.

As the steward called for assistance from colleagues, the fan is said to have left the area at around 8.55pm.

The steward is understood to have sustained bruising, redness, and swelling to his face, but is not believed to have been seriously hurt.

Police were subsequently called and an inquiry has begun.

The incident took place during one of the matches this season which will not have a police presence inside the ground.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Town Football Club said the club was aware of the alleged fracas.

However, she said: “We can confirm an incident did take place near the corporate area of the Cobbold Stand on Tuesday night, but it is in the hands of the police, so we will not be making any further comment.”

No one has been arrested in connection with the incident as yet, although Nishan Wijeratne, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “As a result of our enquiries we have identified a suspect and are looking to make an arrest during the course of the next few days.”

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