[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 15:15 GMT
Police condemn fans after clashes
Manchester United's goalkeeper Roy Carroll on ground
Goalkeeper Roy Carroll was hurt by a missile thrown by an Everton fan
Police have condemned the behaviour of football fans involved in violent clashes after the FA Cup tie between Everton and Manchester United.

Five officers were injured and 33 fans arrested as police in riot gear were attacked with stones and bottles.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, condemned Saturday night's violence and said the force would be reviewing the trouble.

He will be talking to the BBC about future kick-off times for live games.

'Urging a review'

Mr Hogan-Howe said: "Certain people anticipated yesterday's game intent on causing trouble and their behaviour afterwards such as throwing missiles at police officers trying to prevent any further disorder is to be condemned.

"I will be asking for a report into the events of Saturday first thing on Monday morning to review the full facts of the violence.

We did receive some calls from a section of our supporters expressing surprise
Ian Ross, Everton's director of communications

"I will also be urging a review of the behaviour of both sets of football supporters and talking to the BBC about the kick-off time for future football games which will be held on Merseyside."

The match, which kicked off at 1730 GMT, marked the first time former Everton player Wayne Rooney had returned to Goodison Park since his acrimonious 27m summer transfer to Manchester United.

Ian Ross, Director of Communications at Everton Football Club, said: "When it was announced that the game would go ahead at 5.30pm we did receive some calls from a section of our supporters expressing surprise.

"But once the police agreed the time with the Football Association and the BBC, and assured us they could police it, that was sufficient.

We may well have to rethink the 5.30pm kick-off
Sports Minister Richard Caborn

"The club believes the police did a magnificent job. The trouble that did break out afterwards appears to have been pre-meditated. Whether the kick off time had a bearing on that, who knows?"

During the game Manchester United goalkeeper Roy Carroll was hit by a missile, thought to be a coin thrown from the crowd. A mobile phone was also thrown onto the pitch.

Merseyside Police said they would study CCTV and TV footage to determine who threw the missile. Everton have vowed to ban the culprit.

Drunk and disorderly

After the match, which Manchester United won 2-0, the flashpoint came at Everton Valley where there were running battles between local youths and United fans being escorted back to Liverpool's Lime Street train station.

One of the injured police officers needed hospital treatment.

Police said the arrests were for public order offences or for being drunk and disorderly.

Sports Minister Richard Caborn has led calls for a review of early-evening kick-offs on high-profile matches following Saturday's trouble.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "We may well have to rethink the 5.30pm kick-off. We know it is done predominately for television, but we might have to reflect on that."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Hear details of last night's violence



SEE ALSO:
Caborn questions late kick-offs
20 Feb 05 |  FA Cup
Fans held after violent clashes
20 Feb 05 |  England
Everton 0-2 Man Utd
19 Feb 05 |  FA Cup


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific