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​Manchester And Leeds Fans Seen 'Scrapping' In Street Ahead Of Today's Clash

Jess Hardiman

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​Manchester And Leeds Fans Seen 'Scrapping' In Street Ahead Of Today's Clash

Manchester United and Leeds United fans have been seen fighting in the street ahead of today's clash at Old Trafford, with police urging people to 'behave responsibly' as crowds return to stadiums at full capacity.

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The two football teams go head to head today for the first time with fans since 2004, with a lunchtime kick-off marking the first weekend for top stadiums to operate at capacity since the pandemic broke out last year.

Footage of football fans 'scrapping' in central Manchester was posted on Twitter by user @harrisdews, who was sat in a Caffé Nero while outside people were seen lobbing chairs and bins at each other while police officers attempt to break them up.

One person commented: "Put us all back in lockdown. Grow up ffs."

Another joked: "Society is healing."

A third wrote: "Barbarian Brits."

Credit: Twitter/@harrisdews
Credit: Twitter/@harrisdews

A Caffé Nero worker told The Sun: "It was a massive brawl. I had to run to the door to lock them.

"We kept the customers inside, it seems as though it was football related. There were kids about and it was a bit scary so we just locked the doors."

A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: "There have been isolated incidents of disorder in the city ahead of this afternoon's game at Old Trafford and we have worked closely with licensed premises to ensure we could act swiftly to negate any incidents of concern and move people on safely.

"No arrests were made but work has begun with football intelligence officers from both clubs to identify any suspected offenders and hold them to account for their actions. It's worth a reminder that successful prosecution can lead to a two-year football banning order.

"Officers will remain in the city for the remainder of the day to ensure the public and the vast majority of law-abiding fans can enjoy their day safely and with minimal disruption in Manchester."

Earlier today, Greater Manchester Police called for good behaviour from fans, as Old Trafford prepared to be full for the first time since the Manchester derby back in March 2020.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellison, Greater Manchester Police's Gold Commander for public order operations, said: "It feels like a long time since we last had capacity crowds, but we have worked on hundreds of events in the past and our priority this weekend remains the same.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"The Premier League starts with Manchester hosting the biggest game of the weekend, 70,000 fans returning to Old Trafford to see Manchester United hosting Leeds United. That's just one of four matches on our patch on Saturday afternoon.

"Our officers are working extended hours this weekend to help keep the public safe. All that we ask is that you behave responsibly so everyone can enjoy themselves."

A statement from Greater Manchester Police also said: "Since the release of the fixture list we have been working with Manchester United, the supporters' groups of both clubs, local authorities, and other relevant partners to ensure all supporters in attendance are able to enjoy the game in a safe environment.

"There can be challenges around this fixture that present it as high-risk which is why we work closely with these agencies to put together a thorough policing plan that ensures all spectators can enjoy the match without any issue or disruption for the wider public."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@harrisdews

Topics: News, Football, Manchester United, Leeds United

Jess Hardiman
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