A fan punches a police horse as the streets of Newcastle are turned into a battleground. Bloodied supporters brawl inside Wembley Stadium...

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A fan punches a police horse as the streets of Newcastle are turned into a battleground. Bloodied supporters brawl inside Wembley Stadium as weeping youngsters watch. Fighting erupts at train stations as hooligans hurl racist abuse.

English soccer seemingly was in a time warp last weekend, with a return of the crowd trouble that stained the nation’s game in the 1970s and ’80s — when its fans were the pariahs of Europe.

Almost 80 people were arrested as violence spread from stadiums to the streets and transport network.

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“You never finally defeat football hooliganism,” British sports minister Hugh Robertson said.

Wembley witnessed its most violent scenes since the rebuilt national stadium opened six years ago as Millwall fans turned on each other during Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal loss to Wigan.

Fourteen arrests were made inside the stadium as the disorder was allowed to build throughout the second half in the Millwall end. As trouble spilled out of the stadium into a nearby subway station, another six Millwall fans were arrested for a series of offenses, including racist abuse.

Fans of the second-tier London team, which was renowned for its struggle with hooliganism in the 1970s and ’80s, made light of their unruly reputation by chanting: “No one likes us and we don’t care.”

Newcastle fans responded to a 3-0 loss at home to local rival Sunderland on Sunday by running amok in the city center, with three police officers injured after being attacked during clashes.

In one scene that provoked widespread outrage, a man was also seen swinging at a police horse. Thirty people were arrested, and Newcastle vowed to impose lifetime bans from matches on anyone found guilty.

British Transport Police reported unrest Sunday with fans traveling to and from the FA Cup semifinal between Manchester City and Chelsea. There were 11 arrests.

Quakes president ‘appalled’

by Gordon’s slur during match

San Jose Earthquakes President Dave Kaval said he was “appalled by the use of the hurtful language” used by striker Alan Gordon toward Portland player Will Johnson during the Quakes’ 1-0 Major League Soccer loss to the Timbers in Portland.

Gordon, 31, used an anti-gay slur in the second half of a match shown on NBC Sports Network and faces a possible three-game suspension, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

“We let the fans of the Earthquakes down by having a player do that,” Kaval said of Gordon’s slur.

College football

Boise State wants exit fee voided

Boise State officials are asking a judge to declare the school does not owe a $5 million penalty for canceling its entry into the Big East Conference last year.

University officials announced they had filed a lawsuit in 4th District Court in Boise after a representative of what will soon be the American Athletic Conference said the conference intended to sue the university.

Boise State signed an agreement in December 2011 to join the Big East in 2013 for football. School officials said the conference lost most of its membership over the next year, failed to add more football schools west of the Mississippi and lost its guaranteed spot in BCS bowl games. In December, Boise State opted to stay in the Mountain West Conference for all sports.

University President Bob Kustra contends the conference the Broncos agreed to join no longer exists.


• NBC officials said Dan Hicks is replacing Tom Hammond as the lead play-by-play announcer on the network’s Notre Dame football broadcasts this season.

Hicks’ first assignment is Saturday, when NBC Sports Network airs the Fighting Irish’s spring game. Hicks, perhaps best known as NBC’s golf announcer, will join analyst Mike Mayock and sideline reporter Alex Flanagan on Notre Dame games.

Hammond had been the lead Notre Dame announcer for NBC since 1992. Network officials said Hammond will continue to be the lead announcer for Triple Crown horse racing, figure skating and track and field at the Olympics.

• The Southeastern Conference and ESPN postponed a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta because of the deaths and injuries caused by bombs Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

The conference and the network were expected to announce the launch of an SEC network.

• Prize money at the French Open tennis tournament will rise. Organizers said the overall total for the tournament, which begins May 26 in Paris, will go from $24.6 million to $28.7 million. Singles winners will get $1.96 million, compared with $1.64 million in 2012.

• Utah hired North Texas coach Joe Dykstra to take over its swimming program after an abuse scandal led to the ouster of Greg Winslow. Dykstra, a former Washington swimmer, was the associate head coach of the Huskies from 2001 to 2006 before going to North Texas.

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