The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-06-29

Sport : 11 : 3


3 The Daily Telegraph Monday 29 June 2020 ** Champions’ clash with Villa at Anfield now under threat chief sports reporter By Jeremy Wilson Liverpool match could be at neutral venue after trouble Club condemn disorder as fans celebrated title win were thrown. He said a group of about 100 threw glasses and bottles at riot police as they tried to stop acts of disorder in the city centre. Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s director of public health, said that “a small group” had “potentiall­y put the other 485,000 residents of this city at risk”. It was also stressed that “the potential danger of a second peak of Covid-19 still exists and we need to work together to make sure we don’t undo everything that has been achieved as a region”. The disorder and the lack of social distancing on Friday has raised questions over whether Liverpool’s next home fixture, against Aston Villa on Sunday, should be staged at Anfield. The Government has warned that fans congregati­ng would lead to matches being played at neutral venues and the Premier League has identified a group of other stadiums which could accommodat­e fixtures at short notice. This could also apply if there are local lockdowns following spikes in the coronaviru­s rate, meaning that Leicester City might now be asked to play home matches at a neutral venue. Leicester hosted Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals yesterday and have had no indication that they will be directly affected following 658 new cases of coronaviru­s in the area in the fortnight up to June 16. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that “all options” are being considered. Safety advisory groups, with input from local councils, police and emergency services, issue licences for stadiums to host matches and Liverpool have not heard if their licence will be reviewed ahead of Sunday’s match. Liverpool have warned that any supporter convicted of a criminal offence during celebratio­ns for their Premier League title win could be banned from Anfield. With the new champions also waiting to discover if Sunday’s potential homecoming against Aston Villa might be moved to a neutral venue, the club have followed up their condemnati­on of Friday night’s public disorder by threatenin­g to bar troublemak­ers from home games. The club’s “ticketing sanctions process” means that any fan convicted of a criminal offence could lose their season ticket, membership or future right to buy tickets. A statement issued by the club, Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council condemned the “wholly unacceptab­le” behaviour at Pier Head, where several thousand congregate­d to celebrate the club’s first league title since 1990. Fifteen people were arrested for “violent disorder” and have been bailed while police investigat­ions continue. Matthew Egglesden, 19, was charged with causing criminal damage to the Royal Liver building and firing fireworks in a public place, while Craig Campbell, 26, was charged with assault. Both are due to appear at Liverpool Magistrate­s’ Court today. Jon Roy, the assistant chief constable of Merseyside Police, said two officers needed medical treatment to their backs after bottles Title win goes to Firmino’s head Roberto Firmino has marked Liverpool’s first league title success in 30 years by becoming a redhead – the Brazilian showing up for training yesterday with his hair dyed in the club’s colours

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