RIVAL football fans have been blamed after troubled flared at Marine FC’s home match with FC United of Manchester.
Two men were arrested and police were forced to break up a number of fights following Saturday’s game which was attended by over 1,200 supporters.
Tensions between the two clubs have run high since a controversial match in 2009.
Following that clash, Marine player John Lawless had his contract terminated for allegedly making an aeroplane motion – felt by some to have been an insult referencing the 1958 Munich Air Disaster in which 23 people died – before taking a corner at the home end.
Ever since, fans from Manchester United and Liverpool FC have used the Unibond Premier League as a way to contest their bitter rivalry, with Saturday’s game the latest occasion to be blighted by hooliganism.
Both Marine FC and Merseyside Police have moved quickly
to criticise the violence which occurred on a day when neither Premier League club were in action.
Chief Inspector Zoe Thornton from the Sefton police command team said: “The vast majority of the 1,200 people at the game behaved impeccably and were there simply to enjoy the football.
“Sadly, as can be the case at any large event, a small minority turned up intent on spoiling things for everyone.
“Police officers were on hand outside the ground to deal with any issues and we are aware that a small number of men were ejected from the home end by stewards. These people were closely watched by the police until they had left the area.
“After the match, my officers arrested two men to prevent a breach of the peace and successfully intervened in a small number of confrontations between fans close to the train station.
“No-one was seriously injured and the vast majority of fans were not involved in or got caught up in any trouble.
“The troublemakers are not believed to be genuine fans of either team and steps are being taken to identify them and ensure they do not attend this fixture again.”
The match, which ended in a 3-0 defeat for Marine, also witnessed a number of flares and a Chinese firecracker being let off.
Marine FC chairman Paul Leary said: “What was different from previous fixtures was there was no Premier League fixture for either Manchester United or Liverpool and as a result we were targeted by a small minority who were intent on causing trouble.
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