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Wenger labels coin-throwing fans a disgrace

Football Soccer - Reading v West Bromwich Albion - FA Cup Fifth Round - The Madejski Stadium - 20/2/16 West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowd Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
Football Soccer - Reading v West Bromwich Albion - FA Cup Fifth Round - The Madejski Stadium - 20/2/16West Brom's Chris Brunt reacts after a coin is thrown at him from the crowdAction Images via Reuters / Peter CziborraLivepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsene Wenger said some English soccer fans feel they can get away with anything inside stadiums when asked for his thoughts on recent coin-throwing incidents on Monday.

Last weekend's FA Cup ties at Reading and Chelsea were marred by coins being thrown at players, scenes that Wenger described as disgraceful.

"For years, people in the stands feel they can get away with everything," Wenger told reporters at a news conference ahead of the first leg of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 tie with Barcelona.

"The media played a little part in that. You are insulted regularly from the stands and people feel they can't be punished. Then it goes a step further.

"The incidents over the weekend were a disgrace and just not acceptable."

In the most serious incident, West Bromwich Albion's midfielder Chris Brunt was struck underneath the left eye by a coin thrown from one of Albion's own supporters after their surprise 3-1 defeat at second-tier Reading on Saturday.

On Sunday, Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink condemned some of the club's supporters after they threw coins towards Manchester City players after they celebrated an equaliser in a 5-1 defeat.

Chelsea said they would work with police to identify the culprits and ban them from Stamford Bridge.

West Brom also promised the "severest of sanctions" if they identify the supporter who left Brunt with a cut on his cheek.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ian Chadband)

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