The Merseyside Police have warned Liverpool supporters that anyone found in possession of pyrotechnics and flares at the first leg of Liverpool vs. Manchester City in the Champions League could face prison terms.
Liverpool fans are planning a ‘hostile’ reception for City when the team bus arrives, with some unofficial Facebook messages even suggesting bricks could be thrown at the vehicle.
The more publicised message, shared by The Redmen TV group, has a less violent tone, but reportedly led to Manchester City expressing their concerns to police.
Superintendent Paul White of the Merseyside Police has responded to City’s concerns with a strong statement, warning fans that they could be punished if they are found with flares or pyrotechnics.
“We are aware that fans have indicated they plan to gather ahead of the Champions League match to be played on 4 April 2018 between Liverpool and Manchester City,” White said.
“While recognising that some supporters feel they can add to the atmosphere of the occasion, the use of flares and other pyrotechnics at and around football matches is a concern. We fully support the club in working to eradicate this dangerous and reckless practice and would ask that supporters work with us.
“The police and courts take these offences very seriously and prosecution can result in a prison sentence. I would remind people that this can apply not only within the stadium, but also in the surrounding streets and when attempting to enter the ground.”
In 2014, on a day when Manchester City fans impeccably contributed to a Hillsborough tribute at Anfield, the Eccles supporters club coach – with pensioners and children on board – was bricked by a group of Liverpool fans, and the hope will be that the team bus of the Premier League champions-elect doesn’t suffer the same fate ahead of the Champions League tie.
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