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Police investigation launched after Upminster under 16s football match ends with ‘acid’ attacks

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 February 2017

Starch House Lane playing fields, the home of Shield Academy FC. Picture: Google Maps.

Starch House Lane playing fields, the home of Shield Academy FC. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

A teenager has been arrested after an under 16s football match turned ugly and resulted in two teenagers and a man being squirted in the face with a “noxious substance”.

The attacks happened in Virgina Gardens, Barkingside, just before 2pm on Sunday.

Three people ended up in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Essex FA has confirmed it received a “misconduct report” following an under 16s match between Shield Academy and Upminster Park Rovers, which was played at Starch House Lane Playing Fields.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “Police were called to Virgina Gardens, Ilford on Sunday at approximately 1.45pm to a report of two people who had been assaulted.

“Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and established that the victims, two males aged 47 and 16 had a noxious substance thrown in their face.

“The assault took place as the victims were sitting in a car and occurred following a football match.”

Following this incident, officers received another report of a 15-year-old in High Street, Barkingside, also having a noxious substance squirted in his face.

Officers believe the two attacks were linked.

It led to a 16-year-old boy being arrested on Sunday. He has been bailed until mid-April.

Echo Junior Football League general secretary Iris Fraser confirmed an investigation has been launched.

She said: “I can confirm the matter is currently being investigated by the police, Essex County FA and our league.

“Until such time as the matter has been fully investigated, there is nothing further I can add other than to reassure other teams that we have taken immediate action.”

One coach in the league who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s incredibly scary. It’s a premeditated attack.

“I am just hoping the league takes swift action.”

Shield Academy did not respond to the Recorder’s request for comment.

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