Northern Ireland news

Six arrested over disturbances before football match in Belfast

Police said they will be reviewing any available CCTV (PA)
Rebecca Black, PA

Six people have been arrested over clashes which took place before a football match in Belfast.

Police said the BetMcLean Cup final between Linfield and Coleraine passed off “largely peacefully”, but a number of fans were involved in disorder before kick-off.

Six people were arrested for public order offences.

A police spokesperson said the match was well attended and thanked the clubs and fans for their support in ensuring it passed off “largely peacefully”.

However they said a small number of individuals ignored police advice and appeals for common sense before the game.

They said a number of opposing football fans were involved in a public order disturbance in the Donegal Road and Tate's Avenue Bridge areas.

Following this, a 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of public order-related offences.

Meanwhile, there were separate reports of two men being injured in an assault outside the stadium.

Superintendent Christian Bradley said the majority of issues happened outside the venue.

“Our officers were in place to deal swiftly and effectively with any troublemakers,” he said.

“The majority of the issues were outside the venue, however, a number of flares/smoke bombs were set off inside the stadium which we are investigating.

“A total of six arrests were made for public order-related offences and, where applicable, we will be seeking football banning orders.

“As part of our follow-up, we will also be reviewing any available CCTV.”

He added: “We recognise that the vast majority of fans are there to enjoy the match, however, we will not tolerate disruption, disorder or criminal behaviour of any kind.

“As always we will continue to work with our local football clubs and the league to address any criminal or sectarian activity linked to people attending matches and ensure that supporters are kept safe.”

Northern Ireland news