Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Fans sought over Uefa Cup rioting

Suspects being sought by police
Some of the men being sought over the Uefa Cup Final riots

Photographs of 49 men have been released by police who want to trace them in connection with rioting at last year's Uefa Cup final in Manchester.

Disorder erupted after a screen in a fan zone failed before kick-off between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg.

The resulting violence saw officers and supporters clash in the streets, resulting in a number of injuries and criminal damage.

Rangers eventually lost the game by two goals to nil.

An estimated 150,000 Rangers fans descended on Manchester for the final on 14 May 2008.

Greater Manchester Police have been studying hours of CCTV footage to identify those involved in the violence.

Pictures of 49 people police want to speak to were placed on the force's website at 2100 GMT on Tuesday.


CCTV footage of Rangers fans and Manchester police clashes

That coincided with an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch programme.

Footage of the rioting has also been placed on file-sharing websites YouTube, Facebook and Bebo in an effort to reach as many people as possible.

Rangers Football Club has also agreed to feature the appeal in the match programme for Saturday's home game with Dundee United.

Det Sup Geoff Wessell, of Greater Manchester Police, is leading the investigation.

They were fuelled by large amounts of alcohol and intent on violence
Det Sup Geoff Wessell

He said: "May 14 2008 is a night when shameful violence marred what should have been a wonderful football showcase.

"A number of supporters and officers were injured and many innocent members of the public were concerned for their safety and had to take cover.

"It must have been terrifying for anyone caught up in it.

"My team have been working tirelessly in an effort to identify those responsible. This incident has not been forgotten.

"The vast majority of Rangers FC supporters were well behaved on the day, but a significant minority were not."

Det Sup Wessell said those being sought were involved in violence ranging from "attacks on police officers and property to general disorder".

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