Sport

'Sectarian songs' in Solitude silence

Players stand in silence before the game.

A two-minute silence in remembrance of people killed in world conflicts at the match between Linfield and Cliftonville was not observed by some fans.

Monday, 12 November 2012
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Footage of the incident, which happened at Solitude on Saturday, has appeared online.

It shows a small number of Cliftonville fans singing allegedly sectarian songs, booing and jeering during what was meant to be a moment of silence and reflection.

The announcer had called for people in the stadium to respect the wishes of those who wanted to observe the silence - but that didn't happen.

Linfield supporter and Progressive Unionist Party leader Billy Hutchinson said the behaviour was "totally out of order".

He continued: "Cliftonville had announced there was going to be a two minute silence for all the people who have died in conflict around the world - it wasn't just for British soldiers or British people but for all people.

"As the players and referees lined up we heard a number of people starting singing songs which could be described as sectarian and jeering and it was totally out of order."

Mr Hutchinson met with the chairman of Cliftonville, Gerard Lawlor, on Monday.

"Gerard assures me he will continue to be committed to bringing the club forward but he wants me to recognise that the problems are societal - I recognise that and think he needs to be given support by the IFA and others," he said.

"I'm happy that the club will take action and do all within their power but it's very difficult when you have a handful of fans coming along to be out of order."

Cliftonville did not respond to calls and emails from UTV on Monday.

Linfield, meanwhile, said it was making no comment at the moment - over the weekend manager David Jeffrey said he did not blame Cliftonville Football Club for the disruption.

The Irish Football Association said it is waiting for the match observer's report before making any comment.