Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Monday, 6 April 2009 14:48 UK

Police warning on derby disorder

A police cordon outside Ninian Par
A police cordon outside Ninian Park after the Cardiff v Swansea match

Police say more arrests could be made after disorder outside Cardiff City's ground following their south Wales football derby against Swansea City.

Five people were arrested on Sunday for public order offences and officers are examining Ninian Park CCTV footage.

A man was arrested after the referee was hit by a coin during the 2-2 draw.

Police say a 24-year-old man from Pontypridd has been charged with a missile throwing incident and will appear in court on 20 April.

Cardiff City FC chairman Peter Ridsdale said whoever was identified as the coin thrower would be banned for life from the club.

I don't think it is fair on the club if they are penalised because of the actions of a few idiots
Paul Corkrey, Cardiff City Supporters' Trust

Referee Mike Dean, from the Wirral, Merseyside, was cut on the head after he was hit on by what appeared to be a coin during the first half of the match.

His wound was treated and he carried on with the game with a plaster over his cut.

A man was arrested after CCTV images were examined.

It is understood the images will be examined further to make sure just one person was involved in the incident as a number of coins appeared to be thrown at the same time.

Speaking after the game, Mr Ridsdale said he had apologised personally to Mr Dean and insisted the club had done all it could to ensure the match was as safe as possible.

Mike Dean is heped by Swansea captain Gary Monk
Mike Dean is heped by Swansea captain Gary Monk after being struck by a coin

He said he hoped the club's "swift and decisive" action in dealing with the matter would show the football authorities that such behaviour would not be tolerated.

He said: "There's always the problem that if one individual wants to get around the system they can do so but they will suffer the consequence."

Police made six other arrests outside the ground after the match, five relating to public order offences and one for breaching a football banning order.

Three of those arrested are from Cardiff, one from Ebbw Vale, one from Blackwood and one from Abertillery.

Cardiff manager Dave Jones said the incident overshadowed and soured a fantastic advert for Welsh football.

He said:"It's sad because everyone will be talking about the man who threw the coin rather than a game which had everything - excitement, controversy and last-minute penalty."

A report on the game will be submitted by Mr Dean to the Football Association of Wales (FAW), which will then have three weeks to decide if the incident merits any further punishment for the club.

In 2007, Conference South side Newport County were fined £3,000 by the FAW for failing to control their supporters.

Fourth official Alan Sheffield had been hit in the head by a coin thrown from the crowd in the match, also against Swansea in an FA Cup tie.

South Wales Police said they would study CCTV footage to trace and arrest individuals who were involved in the disorder outside Ninian Park.

'Mindless idiots'

Event commander Ch Supt Josh Jones condemned the "significant minority" of supporters involved.

"I would like to praise the majority of fans who heeded our advice prior to the match and contributed to the derby atmosphere," he said.

"Anyone who was involved in disorder will be arrested and banned from attending future matches."

First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who was at the match, said: "A classic local derby was sadly besmirched by this dreadful incident".

Speaking on a tour of the new Cardiff stadium he said "very firm and very swift action" had been taken and a firm message sent out.

Cardiff City Supporters' Trust condemned the "mindless idiots" who threw coins but called on the football authorities not to penalise the club.

"The club has made every effort to avoid problems," said Paul Corkrey, trust acting chairman.

"There was a huge police force and a significant steward presence and I don't know what more they could have done.

"There have been incidents in the Premiership where players have been struck and clubs not penalised. I don't think it is fair on the club if they are penalised because of the actions of a few idiots."

Mr Corkrey said the trust was also writing a letter of apology to Mike Dean on behalf of all genuine football supporters.

Police had previously warned supporters to behave at the key league match, which could be the last between the clubs at Ninian Park.

Hundreds of police officers were in the city to try to prevent crowd disturbances that have marred previous derby games.

The police operation, costing an estimated £250,000, included around 450 officers, horses and "spotters" looking for known troublemakers.

Cardiff City will move to a new stadium next season but the two clubs could meet again this season depending on their final league positions.



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SEE ALSO
FAW starts coin-throwing inquiry
06 Apr 09 |  Cardiff
Police operation for derby match
03 Apr 09 |  South West Wales
Cardiff 2-2 Swansea
05 Apr 09 |  Championship
Welsh rivals are upwardly mobile
02 Apr 09 |  Championship
Tate appeals for 'right spirit'
02 Apr 09 |  Swansea
Troublemakers 'stay away' warning
20 Nov 08 |  South West Wales
27 arrests after derby violence
05 Nov 08 |  South West Wales

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