Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest condemn ‘aggression’ by pitch invader

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Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has condemned what he called an ‘assault’ on team captain Billy Sharp by a fan following a loss to Nottingham Forest in their U.S. second leg championship playoffs Tuesday night.

Video showed a fan running towards Sharp and headbutting him on the ground as fans stormed the pitch after Forest won in a penalty shootout.

“It’s an assault. We saw one of our players attacked,” Heckingbottom said on his official club twitter account. “He is [shuck] standing, bleeding, angry. It will be dealt with.”

Nottingham Forest also released a statement saying they were appalled at what happened and apologized to Sharp.

“Nottingham Forest Football Club are appalled to learn that our former player, Billy Sharp, was assaulted while leaving the pitch after tonight’s game at the City Ground,” said the statement on team website. “The Club will work with the authorities to locate the individual so that he is held accountable for his actions, which will include a lifetime ban from Nottingham Forest.

“The Club would also like to apologize to Billy personally and to Sheffield United Football Club.”

Forest, who won the game 3-2 on penalties, will face Huddersfield Town at Wembley on May 29 with the winner earning promotion to the Premier League.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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