Trouble at Linfield match in Derry

Published Wednesday, 21 March 2012
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Linfied and Derry City FC fans have blamed each other for starting the sectarian violence that erupted at the Brandywell after a Setanta Cup match on Tuesday night.

Trouble at Linfield match in Derry
Linfield fans react angrily to Derry City stewards (© Pacemaker)

Homes and buses were damaged when stones were thrown from outside the grounds at Linfield supporters as they left.

Linfield fans also threw stones and bottles at nearby houses and two of the club's buses were attacked with missiles as they left the area.

One arrest was made after disorder broke out towards the end of a heavily policed Setanta Cup quarter-final clash, which Derry won 3 - 1.

Derry City Football Club said it was saddened by the violence.

The club says one of its directors was attacked when he tried to remonstrate with visiting fans.

Derry City chairman, Sean Barrett, said something must be done to prevent a replay of the violence at future matches.

"We need to sit down as two clubs together and thrash out exactly what happened and get everybody's point of view, hopefully to make sure something like this never happens again because I certainly never want to see the kind of scenes I saw at the Brandywell last night," he said.

In a statement, Linfield said they condemned "the alleged stone throwing from whatever quarter", but added that the vast majority of their supporters were "impeccably behaved".

It is regrettable that a small element of the Linfield support reacted to the aggressive and provocative behaviour of two Derry City stewards and a number of local residents.

Linfield Football Club

"The vast majority of Linfield supporters entered and exited the allocated seating areas in the stadium in an exemplary manner under the control of Linfield FC stewards and a private security firm engaged by this club", the statement added.

Linfield say they will carry out a "full debrief on all events surrounding the game" and will take "appropriate action" where necessary.

Officers said they had to enter the stadium to quell violence following reports of sectarian chanting.

At one stage a temporary fence to keep fans separated was knocked down. Earlier alcohol was seized by officers from buses arriving for the match.

Sinn Féin councillor Patricia Logue said the Linfield fans were being escorted out to their buses when a large group broke away.

"They tore the barriers and started throwing bottles - plastic bottles filled with urine - and other objects, and there was a tirade of sectarian abuse lobbed at the residents as well," she said.

PUP councillor Billy Hutchinson, a passenger on the damaged bus, said a pensioner who was on board could have been badly hurt.

"A window of my bus was put in and a pensioner and several young people were all trapped inside the bus," the Blues fan said.

"I have to say that after the match when we got on the buses, the cauldron of hate that met us coming out of that ground was unbelievable."

The PSNI has launched an investigation into the disorder.

Chief Inspector Andy Lemon said: "Police had been working closely with both teams and community representatives to prevent this type of behaviour.

"It was instigated by a small group of people who could not call themselves fans."

Officers are reviewing footage from the game. Anyone who witnessed the trouble and who has further information is asked to come forward.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Frosty in Here wrote (1,043 days ago):
Same old political pantomime, even in sport - "it was them!" "Oh no it wasn't!" "Oh yes it was!"
mark in glengormley wrote (1,044 days ago):
linfield sould be banned from the cup due to song singing that had notthing to do with linfield and there antics otside the ground or derry city if they ever meet agian the sould b no blues fans allowed to travel to the game. There were orther games in the same cup on tues nite and no trouble at them like crusaders were playing in dublin and not one bit of trouble at it.
rab in newtownabbey wrote (1,044 days ago):
derry city and the psni are squarely to blame for what happened at this public gathering be it a parade a protest or a sporting event should be held without the presence of the police.the police were not inside the stadium and the linfield fans were subjected to abuse from stewards inside the ground.maybe the police should take notice and start doing their jobs and police these games as they should,failing this the rest of the irish league should just not co operate with them for home games and opt to steward the games themselves..if its ok for derry city then it should be ok for anyone else
SHORT STRAND MAN in belfast wrote (1,045 days ago):
well said clare of other point i have to make is big david is always blaming someone for linfields failings in this cup.if its not the oficials its the timing of the cup.its getting tiresome david.don't enter if u you don't like doesn't need linfield to survive
Billy in Belfast wrote (1,045 days ago):
No trouble at Derry any other time? Then why did Shamrock Rovers rufuse to bus their fans to a game there not so long ago. Also wasnt the safety of fans an issue back in the early 70s there, leading to DCFC leaving the league??
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