FA to investigate Crawley player after slapping a fan

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Crawley Town player Paul Connolly is the subject of an investigation after he appeared to slap a fan during their away match at Brentford’s Griffin Park.

After the ball went into the stands and out of play, the Brentford fan appeared to fling the ball hard at Connolly, who then approached the stands and video shows what appears to be a slap.

The Football Association is now investigating the incident and Connolly could face a ban.

“He [Connolly] didn’t like [the fan throwing the ball] and there appeared to be an exchange,” said Brentford chief executive Mark Devlin told Trinity Mirror’s Jacob Murtagh, “whether it was a slap or a punch or whatever.”

Devlin also said a plastic bottle was thrown onto the pitch at the player after the initial altercation, so he expects to be contacted by the FA about that as well.

Here is video of the incident:

The League One match ended in a 1-0 Brentford win.

The incident is reminiscent of Brek Shea’s fan clash that resulted in his Barnsley loan terminated.  Shea did not make physical contact with anyone, but was upset about a Barnsley supporter heckling a teammate so he flipped them the bird.

Connolly was the subject of rumors that he could be on his way to Major League Soccer, with the New York Red Bulls apparently interested. However, he eventually signed for Crawley Town on a contract that runs through the rest of this season.