Ugly scenes returned to the Theatre of Dreams following the match between United and Liverpool. Scenes that were reminiscent of the bad old hooligan days of the seventies. Some fans, especially youngsters, left the stadium clearly shaken by events that have no place in modern football.
In the recent past, UEFA has come down hard on teams for a lot less than was witnessed during and after the Europa League last 16 match between the bitterest rivals in the English game. Both club’s cases will be heard on May 19 by UEFA’s disciplinary board.
The hatred has always been there of course, but the level reached heights not seen for a long while. Certain groups of so called fans taunted each other throughout the game with chants about each clubs’ past tragedies, scuffles broke out between the rival fans in the East Stand and seats were ripped out by Liverpool supporters and thrown at the home fans. But it was the lighting of flares in the away stand that raises a question about the level of security at Old Trafford.
In a world where every major city is on high alert against the threat of terrorism isn’t it about time that stronger regulations were enforced at not only Old Trafford but all major football grounds up and down the country. If it is that easy to bring flares into a stadium, then how easy would it be to take something more threatening in.
Some may say that this is an overreaction and scaremongering, but is it? Terrorism knows no boundaries and as our club is a worldwide institution that alone makes it a prime target. Look what happened in Paris during the friendly between France and Germany.
Of course, it would be hard to search all the fans on a matchday. However, something has to be done and more stringent security measures put in place, especially with the away supporters.
Everybody is so wise after a terrible event so why not preempt it as it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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