Thursday 23, February 2012
Fears of hooligan trouble after Ajax Europa League tie
POLICE have stepped up security amid fears of organised violence erupting between Ajax Amsterdam and Manchester United fans after tonight’s second leg Europa League tie.
More than 1,000 Ajax fans have travelled to Manchester without tickets and some admitted they have no plans to attend the match at Old Trafford.
Just last week, 76 Ajax fans were arrested for causing trouble in the Amsterdam's notorious red light district before the first leg of the Europa League tie.
An Ajax fan from Amsterdam who gave his name as Sander, said: "Trouble will kick off tonight and there are plans to fight with Manchester United’s firm."
He understood hooligans from both sides had arranged to meet after the game in a residential area near the stadium.
The Ajax fan added: “There are fans with a warrant in Holland that have only come to England to start a fight.
“They want to make a name for Ajax in Europe, through fighting,”
He claimed police officers went into the hotel he is staying at in Manchester with other fans to check their belongings in preparation for any trouble.
Greater Manchester Police confirmed there would be a strong presence of police officers on the city's streets and more than a usual Premiership football match.
Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts, the match commander, said: “Greater Manchester Police has a policing operation in place ahead of tonight’s Europa League match between Manchester United and Ajax Amsterdam.
"There are a number of football fans in the city at the moment and the atmosphere is largely friendly but we are on hand to deal with any issues or disorder that may arise.’’
Erik and AJ, two Ajax fans from Amsterdam, said they did not think the supporters will cause any disorder and that last week’s arrests were not representative of supporters.
Erik said: “I can’t imagine any hostility between Ajax and Manchester United fans. I can’t see why anything would happen.
“In Amsterdam, they just like to arrest people.”
Another fan, Renee, who came over for the match this morning, said he expected things to remain calm as well.
He added: “It’s not like the rivalry between United and Liverpool. We are just here to enjoy ourselves and watch a football match in the Theatre of Dreams.”
By Jason Gallagher and Alex Dorweiler
THE University of Salford is opening its doors this weekend ... Read more
16 June 2013 From the last day of the Create at ... Read more
16 June 2013 Daniel McLaughlin looks at what performance students ar ... Read more
14 June 2013 Emily Burgin takes us through what is happening ... Read more