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Soccer: United fan violence condemned by authorities and mayor

By Simon Evans

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Violence throughout Sunday’s protests from Manchester United followers, which led to the Premier League sport with Liverpool being postponed, has been condemned by the UK authorities’s sports activities minister and the mayor of Higher Manchester.

United followers protesting in opposition to the membership’s American house owners, the Glazer household, stormed into the stadium which was closed to followers as a consequence of COVID-19 restrictions.

A flare was thrown on the broadcasters podium as followers ran on to the sector and protesters clashed with police exterior the bottom.

Higher Manchester Police (GMP) mentioned two officers have been injured with one requiring hospital therapy after he was attacked with a bottle and suffered slash wound to his face.

“Passions are operating excessive in soccer however there are methods to protest and make your voice heard with out hurting or endangering others,” mentioned Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Tourism and Sport.

“We perceive the frustrations, however the violence by a small minority of followers at Outdated Trafford yesterday was unacceptable,” he mentioned.

The fan protests in opposition to the Glazers, which have been taken place since they purchased the membership in 2005, have been reignited since United’s involvement within the try to create a breakaway European Tremendous League. [L1N2MP0FH]

Higher Manchester mayor Andy Burnham expressed help for the goals of the protesters however criticised the violence.

“I absolutely perceive the long-standing considerations of Manchester United supporters about each the possession and financing of their membership and the broader operating of soccer,” he mentioned.

“It is very important clarify that almost all of supporters made their protest peacefully…nonetheless, there isn’t any excuse for the actions of a minority who injured cops and endangered the protection of others,” he added.

British international workplace minister James Cleverly mentioned there was a necessity to know the temper of soccer supporters.

“(We) can not, can not condone the photographs that we’ve seen about storming the bottom,” Cleverly advised Sky Information. “However we do want to know the frustrations that followers haven’t simply with Manchester United, however with plenty of golf equipment throughout the sport.”

GMP Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson mentioned the behaviour of the followers was “reckless and harmful”.

“We have now launched an investigation and we might be working intently alongside companions to make sure we set up the total circumstances surrounding at the moment’s occasions and prosecute these accountable,” he mentioned.

No determination has but been made on the rescheduling of the match or about any sanctions for Sunday’s occasions.

(Further reporting by William James; Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne and Ed Osmond)

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