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Police Eject 60-Year-Old Manchester City Fan For Refusing to Sit Down (NSFW Video)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po0dZfS2CDg

Watch any Premier League match in person or on television each weekend, and you’ll see plenty of supporters sitting in their seats, but you’ll also see many of them standing. In some grounds, you’ll see a greater percentage of fans standing up. Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium are just two examples.

But what happens when a security staff member asks a supporter to sit down and they allegedly refuse to follow their demands?

Here’s one video to show what happened to a 60-year-old Manchester City supporter this past Saturday in the game against Aston Villa. Uploaded by YouTube user Standing109, the video contains offensive language that is not suitable for children and is not safe for work.

According to Standing109, “An aging [Manchester City supporter] in [section] 109 refused to sit whilst those around him and the away fans stood.” He added that “Showsec [laughably "the leading concert and event crowd management security" firm, according to their website] picked him out as their let’s-make-an-example-for-the day and then called for the police. The bloke in question sat down before the police went to his seat, even with those around him still standing. They went and spoke to him, and whilst he was sitting down, told them he hadn’t done anything wrong.

“The GMP (Greater Manchester Police) seized an opportunity, at at least they thought they did, when [Mario] Balotelli scored, to try and manhandle him out of the ground. I didn’t see how the man ended up on the floor but he can clearly be heard in the video saying he takes tablets for a heart problem before they took him out and at no point did I see him forcibly resist.

“Their treatment of him was disgraceful and that’s not all. When the GMP waded into the crowd people were getting elbowed out of the way or knocked over, myself and a kid no older than seven included. [Their behavior was] completely out of order and an exemplar for any aspiring stewards or policemen and women in how not to defuse a situation. There’s also reports of Showsec stewards lashing out at fans. I did not see these events however but the above description is my eyewitness account and I would swear to it in court.”

EPL Talk contacted Manchester City Football Club for their side to the story, and here’s what they said regarding the matter:

“During Saturday’s match, a supporter who was persistently standing was politely asked to sit down by stewards, following complaints from supporters who were unable to watch the match,” said a club spokesman. “After refusing to co-operate, the Police intervened to help eject the man.

“The man refused to leave, prompting a small number of surrounding supporters, who became aggressive to both the stewards and the police. The man in question was ejected and a further two men were arrested for assault.

Manchester City Football Club has a zero tolerance policy on abusive or violent behaviour to staff.”

While the video contains some disturbing images, it’s not easy to see exactly what happened, but it does seem that the police and security used excessive force on the elderly man. The 60-year-old man in the video can be heard saying “I’ve done nothing wrong. Why are you screaming at me?”

Manchester City are caught between a rock and a hard place with their policy. Yes, supporters should be seated since it’s an all-seater ground, but the club is stifling the atmosphere at their ground if they expect their supporters to be seated for the entire match. After all, Manchester City supporters are well known for doing the Poznan, so what are the club going to do the next time their supporters stand up, turn their backs and start jumping up and down?

What’s your opinion regarding the matter? Should City enforce the no-standing policy, or be more lenient? Should the supporter have sat down when he was asked, or does he have the right to stand up if he felt he was being unfairly singled out? Share your opinions in the comments section below.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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