British Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe described the violent scenes at Tuesday night's West Ham versus Millwall match as "a disgrace to football."

He backed the Football Association's call for life bans for those found to have been involved.

Police are examining CCTV pictures as they hunt down the hooligans who left three people seriously injured.

A man was stabbed in the chest and two others were taken to hospital. Thirteen people were arrested.

The trouble erupted before, during and after the game at Upton Park in east London.

The FA vowed to investigate, saying there was "no place in our game" for those responsible.

Chief Superintendent Steve Wisbey, the officer in charge of policing the match, said: "It would appear that a small number of supporters were intent on causing a confrontation."

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Mark White, Sky's Home Affairs correspondent, said police believed the clashes had been pre-arranged by rival sets of supporters.

They began outside the stadium shortly after 6 p.m., with bricks and bottles being thrown and small fires started as police tried to intervene.

Inside the ground, rioters fought with police and stewards and play was suspended when scores of people invaded the pitch.

A Metropolitan Policespokeswoman said officers were now scanning CCTV footage to identify those behind the clashes.

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