Soccer-Man United to punish fans who committed criminal acts in protests By Reuters

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© Reuters. Manchester United fans protest against their owners ahead of the Manchester United v Liverpool Premier League match

By Simon Evans MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester United will punish fans who committed criminal acts during Sunday’s protests that led to the postponement of the Premier League match against Liverpool, the club said on Monday. United fans protesting the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, stormed the stadium that was closed to fans due to COVID-19 restrictions. “Most of our fans have condemned and will condemn criminal damages, along with any violence towards club staff, police or other fans, and these now become a police matter,” United said in a statement. “The club does not want peaceful protesters to be punished, but will work with the police to identify those involved in criminal activities, and will also issue its own sanctions to any identified membership or subscription holders, in accordance with the published sanctions policy. “. added statement. A flare was launched at the announcers’ podium as fans ran onto the field and protesters clashed with police off the field. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said two officers were injured and one required hospital treatment after he was attacked with a bottle and suffered a wound to the face. STRONG FEELING The Premier League said it recognized the strength of sentiment among fans. “We are committed to maintaining a close dialogue with supporters and their representatives, while working with the FA and the government to identify solutions, but we ask that all protests be peaceful,” the Premier League said in a statement. “The actions of a few clubs cannot be allowed to create such division and disruption. We are determined to establish the truth of what happened and hold those clubs accountable for their decisions and actions.” Fan protests against the Glazers, which have occurred since they bought the club in 2005, have been reignited since United’s involvement in trying to create a separatist European Super League. [L1N2MP0FH] Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who publicly opposed the Super League’s plans, said he understood the motives behind the protests. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to have disruptive behavior, displays like that, but on the other hand I understand the strength of people’s feelings,” Johnson told reporters. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also expressed support for the protesters’ goals. “I fully understand the long-standing concerns of Manchester United supporters about the ownership and financing of their club and the broader operation of football,” he said. “It is important to make clear that the majority of the sympathizers protested peacefully … yet there is no excuse for the actions of a minority that injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.” No decision has yet been made on rescheduling the match or on sanctions. “Information on the rescheduling of the game and any possible involvement in other matches will be announced after discussion and agreement with the Premier League,” United said.

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