Fans urged to behave during derby weekend
If it’s local passion in football you’re looking for, you can forget the Premier League title chase happening over in Manchester – as this weekend packs a double-whammy of explosive action so volatile that police have felt the need to call for calm.
April 11th, 2013
Saturday’s early kick-off at Elland Road sees a Leeds United side under pressure to avoid a drop back into League One; having dispensed with the services of manager Neil Warnock – and with an appointment likely in the very near future – they’ll face Sheffield Wednesday with Neil Redfearn taking charge. The Owls leapfrogged Leeds in the table last week but the pressure is still very much on. Considering the events of October’s reverse fixture at Hillsborough which ended 1-1 – where keeper Chris Kirkland was pushed down by a Leeds fan already subject to a banning order amid offensive taunts and gestures from both sides of the stadium – it’s hoped that West Yorkshire Police’s appeal for calm echoed by the Leeds United website will do the trick.
And it’s this advice that Newcastle fans would supposedly benefit from after being specifically asked not to make fascist gestures towards new Sunderland manager Paolo di Canio, ahead of the Tyne and Wear derby on Sunday.
Senior copper Steve Neill said: “Offensive gestures, particularly those with a suggestion of racist connotations, are completely unacceptable and we will take positive action against anyone seen acting in an offensive or racist manner.
“While some individuals may see this sort of behaviour as a means of poking fun at opposing fans – it is not a joke… [CCTV] can be checked retrospectively and we have demonstrated on numerous previous occasions our ability to trace offenders and put them before the courts…”