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Police close net on pitch invaders

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 March 2010

"YOUR faces are known."

That's the blunt message today from police and football club officials to the idiots who ran on to the Portman Road pitch when Town equalised in the last minute of the derby match with Norwich.

"YOUR faces are known."

That's the blunt message today from police and football club officials to the idiots who ran on to the Portman Road pitch when Town equalised in the last minute of the derby match with Norwich.

Ipswich Town officials and police officers are studying television pictures from the Sky coverage of the match and published press photographs of the match to try to identify the culprits.

When they are identified they could be prosecuted and banned from the ground for several years.

The football club is facing an FA inquiry following the pitch invasion - and that could result in a fine of several thousands of pounds which it cannot afford at present.

Officials from the club will need to show the FA that it is doing all it can to identify the culprits and take action against them if it is to avoid a heavy fine.

The club's previous good record is expected to be a plus point for them - but they will still need to show they can keep the crowd under control.

Many of those who ran on to the pitch are believed to be known to the police, which should make identification less of a problem.

And there is an acknowledgement that Sunday's incident only involved a few dozen "hard core" supporters and was not a general pitch invasion like those seen at the end of earlier seasons.

Ipswich is not the only football club to be using television and press pictures to identify thugs.

Birmingham City bosses are studying Sky television and pictures from the Birmingham Evening Mail in an attempt to identify the fan who confronted Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enkelmann after he let in bizarre own goal on Monday evening.

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