The ugly scenes of Manchester United’s Premier League match against Liverpool, which saw a police officer brutally wounded in the face, were deemed “totally unacceptable”.
The Greater Manchester Police confirmed that two officers were injured, along with one of the officers, “an attacker with a bottle and a large wound on his face, which requires emergency treatment in the hospital.”
It happened after about 100 fans stormed the stadium at Old Trafford before the match in protest against the United States’ Manchester United owners, the Glazers.
Outside the ground, casualties occurred when a group began throwing bottles and barriers at officers and horses in acts of violence that should be condemned in “the strongest terms possible” by football critics, clubs and players, according to National Police Union President John Apter.
“Once again we have seen the so-called peaceful protest turn into violence with that which targeted my colleagues,” he said.
The officers were injured and required hospital treatment. This is completely unacceptable. ”
Stu Perry, president of the Greater Manchester Police Association, said the officers are not “pressure bags for people who are protesting”.
“At the end of their shifts, diligent police officers should be able to go home to their families in one piece. They are not taken to the hospital,” he added.
He said that the perpetrators should be identified and prosecuted because football fans support the peaceful protest in favor of the national game but these were “horrific scenes” of “reckless violence” carried out by a “minority” of people.
Assistant Commander of the Russian Military Police, Ross Jackson, said it was clear that many of the protesters had no intention of peaceful protest because it condemned their “reckless and dangerous” behavior.
Manchester United were among the 12 teams that joined the separatist Premier League last month, which collapsed within 48 hours due to tremendous and relentless pressure.
By late afternoon, police said, around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry Theater and more than 1,000 protesters at the stadium.
Firecrackers were fired outside the ground as protesters marched towards the Munich Tunnel and filled the air with green and yellow smoke.
The red fences in front of the eastern amphitheater were short-lived as a few rulers were quickly overcome and the barricades fell.
Safety and security concerns forced the postponement of the match, which was supposed to start at 4.30pm. Scheduled to take place on a date yet to be determined.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said on Twitter: “It is important to make clear that the majority of supporters protested peacefully today. However, there is no excuse for minority actions that have injured police officers and endangered the safety of others.
“This could be an important moment to change football for the better. We must all condemn violence of any kind and keep the focus on the behavior of those at the top of the game.”
The English Premier League said it understood the “strength of feeling” of the fans, but condemned “all acts of violence, criminal damage and encroachment on the property of others, especially in light of the associated Coronavirus violations.”
She added, “Fans have many channels to express their views through, but the actions of a minority that are witnessing today have no justification.”
“We sympathize with the police and the hosts, who have had to deal with a dangerous situation that has no place in football.”