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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 22:46 GMT
Ferguson confident on Uefa probe
Manchester United fans were involved in a security scare in Lille
Manchester United fans were involved in a security scare in Lille
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects the club's fans to be cleared of wrongdoing by Uefa's probe into events in Lille last week.

Lille have blamed the apparent overcrowding at the Champions League game last week on counterfeit tickets forged from United's allocation.

"They've been speaking to a lot of fans who were there, so there are plenty of witness reports on it," Ferguson said.

"Hopefully we can put the matter to rest and Uefa can deal with it."

Ferguson's son Mark was among the United fans in the area affected in the Stade Felix-Bollaert.

"I didn't know Mark was in there until after the game," said Ferguson.

"But that doesn't really matter. If you have supporters in there, you have to be concerned for them. There are too many precedents in football history to strengthen your fears in that respect."

United fans seemed to be pushed against a high fence while police fired tear gas at those trying to climb over it.

The club is getting evidence together to hand over to Uefa for an official investigation, which will be held on 22 March by its control and disciplinary body.

Lille director general Xavier Thuilot claimed United's early distribution of tickets allowed fakes to be produced but United have rejected his claims.

We normally send out tickets for our home games at Old Trafford six weeks before the match and we have no problems with forgeries

Man Utd spokesman

"All the forged tickets on the night were Man Utd tickets," said Thuilot.

"We sent their quota of places to Manchester several weeks ago, as is the usual thing to do.

"But the English club, instead of distributing the tickets to their supporters on their arrival at the stadium (or) on their descent from the bus, sent them out a month ago.

"The result - some very good forgeries, which have allowed some supporters to enter the stand reserved for them."

However, a Manchester United club spokesman said: "Tickets were distributed by recorded delivery 11 days before the game or for collection from 1 February.

"We would normally send out tickets for our home games at Old Trafford six weeks before the match and we have no problems with forgeries."

The police have been accused of being heavy-handed after firing tear gas and swinging truncheons at those who were trying to climb over the fence.

But Damien Vanoise, the chief of security at the Felix-Bollaert, defended their actions.

"I think we responded to what happened," he told French radio station RTL.

"There was not even a problem of communication. From the moment we saw the supporters who were trying to pull on the railings, what is the interpretation we can make from that - us, as security guards? For me, it is violent behaviour."

He added: "I can tell you that nobody was crushed in the wire fencing.

"There weren't too many people in that stand. The stand was not full."

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