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Last Updated: Monday, 12 June 2006, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Officers against match screenings
Crowd in Clayton Square
Police, some with batons, broke up the disorder
Police warned against the decision to screen England's opening World Cup match in Liverpool city centre, a senior officer has revealed.

A number of arrests were made after violence broke out at the BBC Big Screen in Clayton Square on Saturday.

Talks are set to take place this week to decide whether future fixtures involving England should go ahead.

Speaking on Monday, Ch Supt Andy Ward said officers had advised that no matches should be screened.

About 2,000 people attended the screening in Clayton Square, an area of the city centre predominately surrounded by shops.

I don't think you should give away the chance for people to celebrate en masse and really enjoy it as part of a unified celebration
Mike Gibbons, BBC Live Events

Fans began hurling bottles, cans and other missiles at the screen, the crowd and officers during the second half of the match.

Stores surrounding the screen locked their doors as police attempted to restore order.

Ch Supt Andy Ward said: "Throughout the planning process we have advised that this event did not take place - particularly for the England games.

"The locality in Clayton Square is not an easy one to police - it's right in the middle of a retail area."

Further trouble

Mike Gibbons, project manager for BBC Live Events, said the screens had become a focal point for communities during the last World Cup.

He cited England's match against Argentina as an example, when thousands turned out in the rain to watch.

"They came and watched the match because they wanted to be together, so I don't think you should give that concept up lightly," said Mr Gibbons.

"I don't think you should give away the chance for people to celebrate en masse and really enjoy it as part of a unified celebration."

Arrests were also made during disturbances at big screens in Canary Wharf, London, and Exchange Square in Manchester.

The BBC has said it is reviewing its operations around the country in consultation with city councils, police and other partners.

Violence as England game screened
11 Jun 06 |  Merseyside

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