Sheffield stars Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie are charged after Nottingham Forest pitch invasion 

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Sheffield United stars Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie are charged after Nottingham Forest pitch invasion at Championship play-off semi-final

Sheffield United footballers Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie have been charged after a police investigation into incidents during the club’s Championship play-off semi-final loss to Nottingham Forest.

In a statement on its website, Sheffield United FC said it was ‘disappointed’ that the two players face criminal action following an inquiry by Nottinghamshire Police.

It is not yet known what the Brewster, 22, and McBurnie, 26, are accused of doing, but the club said both ‘strenuously’ deny the allegations against them, having attended voluntary interviews with police.

The allegations relate to the club’s Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final, second leg match at the City Ground, in Nottingham, against Forest on May 17.

Oliver McBurnie reacts after a missed chance during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Hull City at Bramall Lane on February 15, 2022

Oliver McBurnie reacts after a missed chance during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Hull City at Bramall Lane on February 15, 2022 

Sheffield United backed Rhian Brewster, centre, at Bramall Lane on September 21, 2021

Sheffield United backed Rhian Brewster, centre, at Bramall Lane on September 21, 2021

After Sheffield United lost to Forest 3-2 on penalties, victorious Forest fans invaded the pitch – during which Blades’ skipper Billy Sharp was assaulted and a man later charged.

Forest season ticket holder Robert Biggs, 30, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was jailed for 24 weeks last month.

The Yorkshire club added that it was working with others to address concerns about pitch invasions, following a number of similar incidents at other grounds, including at Everton, where Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira was involved in a clash with a fan.

Nottingham Forest fans invaded the pitch at City Ground on May 17, 2022

Nottingham Forest fans invaded the pitch at City Ground on May 17, 2022

It said: ‘Sheffield United Football Club is disappointed to learn that Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie have been charged following the incidents that took place at the EFL Championship play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest last month.

‘Both players voluntarily engaged in interviews with Nottinghamshire Police in the aftermath of the fixture which saw their team-mate, Billy Sharp, the victim of assault in the chaos which followed the final whistle.

‘Brewster and McBurnie strenuously deny the charges brought against them and football manager Paul Heckingbottom, who wrote letters to the League Managers’ Association, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the EFL and FA following a number of pitch invasions last month, including one involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira, is continuing discussions with key stakeholders in a bid to better protect players and staff in their place of work.’

This is a breaking news story. More to follow 

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