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Utd, Liverpool charged by UEFA over Europa League trouble

Man United, Liverpool charged by UEFA over Europa League trouble.
Man United, Liverpool charged by UEFA over Europa League trouble.

NYON, March 18 – Manchester United and Liverpool have both been charged by UEFA following crowd trouble at their Europa League clash at Old Trafford, the governing body announced on Friday.

Five men were arrested following the disturbances on Thursday night which saw rival fans fighting in the stands and flares and objects thrown.

Liverpool knocked Manchester United out of the second-tier European competition after their last 16 second leg ended 1-1. That gave Liverpool a 3-1 victory on aggregate and a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

The Old Trafford club have been charged, like the visitors, with crowd disturbances and throwing objects, in addition to blocked stairways under the European governing body’s safety and security regulations.

Liverpool have also been charged with illicit chanting, the setting off of flares and throwing objects.

United were not punished by UEFA despite some of their fans being heard singing offensive Hillsborough disaster chants during the first leg at Anfield.

A handful of Liverpool fans sitting in the top tier of the East Stand among the home supporters unfurled a banner in the dying minutes of the game at Old Trafford, sparking clashes in which punches were thrown and a seat hurled.

Liverpool fans in the lower tier of the stand began chanting “Munich” in a reference to the 1958 air disaster while the fighting progressed.

Police and stewards were forced to form a human shield to separate the two sets of supporters and Greater Manchester Police confirmed making five arrests and said they were investigating a “handful of concerning incidents”.

Superintendent Jim Liggett, match commander for the tie, said: “The policing operation for the Manchester United v Liverpool match has now come to an end and towards the end of the game there were a handful of concerning incidents which are currently being investigated. We have made a total of five arrests.”

In the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool’s 2-0 victory was marred by a section of United supporters chanting about the Hillsborough stadium disaster, when 96 Liverpool fans died following a crush of bodies at an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest in 1989.

United avoided a Uefa sanction as the match officials did not mention the incident in their match report.

The case will be dealt with by the Uefa Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 19 May.

Liverpool are looking into claims youth team player Jordan Williams mocked the Munich air disaster during last night’s Europa League match at Manchester United.