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Anfield appeal

Ahead of Sunday’s first home game at Anfield since the September 12 disclosure of documents about the Hillsbrough disaster of 1989, police are appealing for calm at the Premier League game between Liverpool and rivals Manchester United. Each side fears derogatory chants might mar the occasion.

Merseyside Police Supt Christopher Markey said: “As always, my officers will be engaging with both sets of supporters and our policing style will be the usual firm, fair and friendly.

“We work closely with both clubs, Greater Manchester Police and the Football Supporters Federation and their affiliates to make the occasion as enjoyable and as safe as possible. The two teams met twice at Anfield last year and the behaviour of the majority of the fans from both clubs was very good. I would hope we could improve on that again this weekend.

“It is that majority of fans who I am appealing to as we try eradicate the minority of thoughtless individuals who choose to make offensive gestures and sing abhorrent chants at football matches. Those individuals need to feel as unwelcome as possible at football grounds. It is clear to me that supporters from both sides are recognising that enough is enough and that self-policing will provide a longer term solution to this issue for football in general and make for a better atmosphere in stadiums.

“However the fans need to know that when such incidents are brought to the attention of stewards or my officers we will take action.

“We know that this match will be a busy operation and I am sure that both sets of fans will act as ambassadors for their respective clubs and take the opportunity to enhance their respective clubs reputation.

“As usual we would ask fans with tickets to arrive at the ground as early as possible.

“This fixture is a sell out and any person without a ticket should not come to the stadium; they will not be allowed. Whilst we will be targeting ticket touts I would not wish anyone to be the victim of a crime by purchasing an invalid or fraudulent ticket for what in all likelihood, will be a large amount of money. If you do not have a ticket my advice is to enjoy the match on television.”


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