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Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Crues react after tunnel scenes in North Belfast derby

There were skirmishes outside the Seaview changing rooms
There were skirmishes outside the Seaview changing rooms

Crusaders have reacted to the scenes which marred the Boxing Day clash against Cliftonville.

From now on, the tunnel area at Seaview will be restricted to players, club officials, referees and members of the Irish FA.

Referee Adrian McCourt said he was worried about his safety after sending off five players and Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter in Saturday's game.

There were also skirmishes in the Seaview tunnel after the match.

Crusaders officials held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss Saturday's events.

"One of the things to come out of this meeting is the tunnel area and changing room corridor will now be sterile areas," said a Crusaders club statement.

Bangor official McCourt, who dismissed four Crusaders players plus a Cliftonville team member, was rushed off with an escort on the final whistle.

McCourt said that his changing-room door was broken during the skirmishes and that he "feared" for his personal safety.

The aftermatch incidents have been reported to the Irish Football Association which appears certain to land host club Crusaders in further trouble with disciplinary chiefs.

The referee came in for some stinging criticism from Crues boss Baxter.

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see also
Seaview ref feared for his safety
27 Dec 09 |  Irish
Baxter hits out at referee McCourt
26 Dec 09 |  Football
Five off as Reds beat Crusaders
26 Dec 09 |  Irish Football
Baxter criticises referee McCourt
26 Dec 09 |  Irish
Crusaders 1-2 Cliftonville
26 Dec 09 |  Irish
Seaview football photos
27 Dec 09 |  Football

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