Riot police gear up for Manchester derby
RIOT police will patrol Sunday's FA Cup derby between Manchester City and Manchester United at Eastlands after an officer lost partial sight in one eye when supporters clashed at a recent match between the clubs.
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 encounters between City and United.
GMP has 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 Eastlands after United's 1-0 victory in April 2010. The police insisted that fans should not be alarmed by this precaution.
In addition, supporters will be -limited to purchasing two drinks per person inside the stadium. 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.
Following United's Carling Cup semi-final, second-leg victory over City at Old Trafford in January 2010, visiting fans complained because United songs were repeatedly played over the PA system while they were held in the East Stand for 15 minutes after the final whistle.
It is understood City will not return the gesture for this weekend's clash.