| 5.1°C Dublin

Riot police on alert for derby

Riot police will patrol Sunday's FA Cup derby between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium after an officer lost partial sight in one eye when supporters clashed at a recent match between the clubs, writes Mark Ogden.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP), following discussions with both clubs and local authorities, will also impose strict measures, closing pubs and limiting alcohol consumption inside the stadium to prevent the disorder that has marred previous encounters between City and United.

GMP have confirmed that officers will attend the fixture wearing full riot gear as a result of a 24-year-old officer suffering an eye injury from a missile thrown during a disturbance outside the Etihad Stadium after United's 1-0 victory in April 2010.

In addition, supporters will be limited to purchasing two drinks per person inside the stadium, and local pubs will be closed.

When United travelled to City for a Carling Cup semi-final tie in January 2010, objects such as darts and golf balls were confiscated by police, while last season's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley sparked clashes between fans outside the stadium following City's 1-0 win.

To ease tensions this weekend, City will broadcast United DVDs on television screens within the visiting enclosure. United's 5,700 visiting fans have been warned to expect to be kept inside the stadium until local roads have cleared of home fans.

City stressed that the release of tickets on general sale for the game will not lead to the home areas being infiltrated by United supporters.

City are confident that their membership scheme, and the fact that prospective fans need to prove a history of having recently bought tickets, will prevent home tickets falling into United hands. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent