Nottingham Forest could be set to play their first Premier League game behind closed doors following one fan's brutal headbutt on Billy Sharp.
Forest are just one game away from a first top-flight campaign this century after defeating Sheffield United on penalties to reach the Championship playoff final. But the post-match celebrations were marred by a horrifying incident between Blades captain Sharp and one "scumbag" supporter.
The 36-year-old was left needing stitches when one member of the home contingent made a beeline towards him upon the full-time whistle before ploughing his head into Sharp. Forest have already confirmed an investigation is underway to identify the culprit, who is set to face a lifetime ban from the City ground.
However, according to the Daily Mail, the club are also prepared for further ramifications, which could include playing their first top-flight game since 1999 without a home crowd. Following a similar instance between Jack Grealish and a Birmingham City supporter in 2019, the FA warned there would be stricter punishment for future occurrences.
The report states that under FA Rule E20b, member clubs can expect stadium closures and points deductions if they're found guilty of failing to take adequate action. The FA have already confirmed they are opening their own independent investigation into the incident.
A spokesperson said: "We are aware of the very serious incident that took place after the match between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United. We will be investigating the incident as a matter of urgency and will be working alongside the clubs and the relevant authorities to ensure the appropriate steps are taken."
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Blades boss Paul Heckingbottom called for charges to be pressed against the perpetrator: "There’s a prison sentence there for sure. We’re seeing things thrown on the pitch and things that are thrown on putting players’ health and safety in danger and nothing’s ever done about it.
"There will be something done about that. We’ve seen what’s happened, we know what’s happened. How can you come to a place of work minding your own business and be assaulted in that fashion? It’s just bang out of order and it’s everything that’s wrong.
"Too many times we hear people condemn it, but nothing’s done about it. We’re the ones that suffered. It’s assault. We’ve seen one of our players attacked. He’s shuck up, bleeding, angry. It’ll be dealt with."
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