todayDecember 19, 2023

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As the festive fixtures approach in the Premier League, there’s a concerted effort underway to implore fans to exhibit better behavior, particularly in light of a concerning series of incidents that have marred recent matches.

One such instance occurred when the Manchester United team bus faced an unwelcome reception, being struck by a bottle in what has become an unfortunately familiar “welcome party” organized by certain Liverpool supporters for visiting opponents. The result? Damage to the vehicle, adding Manchester United to the list that includes City and Real Madrid, all of whom have been targeted during their journeys to Anfield.

The authorities, represented by the Merseyside Police, have initiated an investigation into the incident. Additionally, Liverpool Football Club has made a firm commitment to take disciplinary action against anyone found responsible for such behavior.

In response to these incidents and aiming to maintain a respectful atmosphere, top-flight officials are taking proactive measures. They are now planning to remind fans of their responsibility to ‘act responsibly’ as they attend matches during the festive period encompassing Christmas and New Year. This echoes the collaborative efforts of the Football Association (FA) and English Football League (EFL) who, at the start of the season, introduced a series of measures intended to enhance conduct both on and off the field.

However, beyond the regrettable incident involving the bus, there have been additional concerning occurrences. Instances of offensive chanting during matches and an incident where objects were thrown at Norwich co-owner Delia Smith’s vehicle ahead of the East Anglia derby at Portman Road have heightened concerns about fan conduct.

Specifically regarding Liverpool, a subset of the fanbase has developed a tradition of vocally ‘greeting’ opposition coaches as they approach the stadium, creating a less-than-welcoming atmosphere.

A video circulated on social media captured the Manchester United bus en route to Anfield amidst a crowd singing disparaging chants about Manchester, followed by the hurling of a glass bottle toward the moving vehicle. Fortunately, no windows were shattered, and no injuries were reported. However, the impact was audibly felt by Erik ten Hag’s squad, highlighting the seriousness of such actions.

This incident is not an isolated occurrence. In 2021, Merseyside Police investigated an incident involving the coach transporting Real Madrid players before a Champions League clash. Manchester City also fell victim to a similar attack outside Anfield in November of the previous year. Additionally, Liverpool faced fines in 2018 following an incident targeting Manchester City’s bus before another European fixture.

Liverpool Football Club has released an official statement, acknowledging the circulating footage of the incident and emphasizing their collaboration with Merseyside Police to thoroughly investigate and identify those responsible. The club has asserted that any individuals found guilty of such reprehensible behavior will face severe consequences through the club’s sanction process.

Written by: Champion Nwokeabia

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