A police officer suffered an injury inside Old Trafford Thursday night during the Manchester United match against Real Betis. Away fans threw flares and other objects inside the famous arena, resulting in the injury. The Red Devils went on the win the Europa League game convincingly, 4-1.
About 3,600 Betis fans traveled to Manchester to attend the round of 16 game. Most supporters were not unruly. However, Manchester police arrested four fans. Officials held the four on a variety of charges. For instance, those include assault, violent disorder and possession of a controlled drug. Two of these men are still in police custody.
Police say majority of fans behaved well at United vs Betis
“The violent disorder experienced does not reflect the majority of supporters attending this fixture who went just to watch the football on the pitch,” said area police chief inspect Jamie Collins on Friday.
“Last night’s behavior by the minority was totally unacceptable and quite shocking for the decent supporters who may have got caught up in this. We are also continuing to offer the welfare needed to support one of our colleagues who was injured as a result when trying to keep the public safe.”
“GMP are working closely with Manchester United, the UK Football Policing Unit, Real Betis, UEFA, and Spanish police colleagues to identify those involved in a post-match investigation which is ongoing.”
Violence inside soccer stadiums on the up
The incident at Old Trafford is the latest issue of hooliganism, particularly with flares. Select Anderlecht fans clashed with police and West Ham supporters in a similar fashion back in October. Most recently, a 13-year-old suffered injuries from a flare at a Perth Glory game in January. A recent report in the United Kingdom has also claimed that fan violence is at an eight-year high.
PHOTO: IMAGO / CordonPress
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