Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Chief Warns Rival Fans in Bid to Avoid Repeat of Trouble

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Police Chief Warns Rival Fans in Bid to Avoid Repeat of Trouble

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro

brighton v crystal palace (Tonight, 7.45pm, BT Sport 2) Giuseppe Muro ASENIOR police chief has issued a warning to fans ahead of tonight's FA Cup tie between Crystal Palace and Brighton at the Amex Stadium that they will come down hard on any trouble.

Six people were arrested when disorder overshadowed the long-awaited first Premier League meeting between the fierce rivals last November.

Brighton accused a minority of Palace supporters of being "intent on causing disorder" and Sussex Police described the night as a "return to the dark days of football".

Two stewards were taken to hospital after some Palace fans without tickets stormed a turnstile in chaotic scenes that resulted in hundreds of supporters being denied entry.

Sussex Police was criticised for its handling of the match and has come under scrutiny after it apologised for falsely claiming a number of Palace fans had weapons on them.

There will be a focus on what happens off the pitch tonight and Sussex Police hope an increased police presence will avoid a repeat of any trouble.

Assistant chief constable Steve Barry said: "This is one of the most eagerlyawaited derby matches and I am keen to see that fans enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of the match but not be carried away by off-field rivalries.

"Unfortunately, a small minority caused a disproportionate amount of disorder at the previous meeting of the clubs and experience has shown that the intense rivalry has tipped some supporters over the edge into committing offences that resulted in arrests. "We will isolate and deal positively with anyone whose intention is to take part in violence or any unacceptable behaviour.

"Passion and rivalry are all part of football, violence and hatred should not be. Do not get involved in things you would not normally. …

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