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Ten to face court after disorder at Sunderland vs Newcastle Under-23 game

05 Sep 2018 12:30 PM

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Football fans who ripped up seats at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light during an Under-23 game are to appear in court – and face being banned from every stadium in the country.

Disorder broke out among away fans during the second half of the Black Cats’ second-string game against Newcastle United in March 2018.

Several seats were broken by visiting supporters in what was the first reserve Wear-Tyne derby in four years.

Around 300 Newcastle supporters travelled to Wearside and saw the Magpies win the Premier League International Cup quarter-final 11-10 on penalties, after the game finished 2-2 after extra time.

However, the occasion was marred by the behaviour of a minority of visiting fans who ripped up and damaged a number of red plastic seats. Toilet blocks inside the ground were also damaged.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation following the disorder, and ten individuals have been issued with a summons to appear before magistrates in Sunderland on a date to be confirmed to answer charges including public order offences, theft and throwing a missile.

Those found guilty could receive football banning orders preventing them from attending any regulated football matches anywhere across the UK for a set time.

The order also bans individuals from travelling abroad to watch international friendlies, qualification matches and tournaments.

Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said: “While the overwhelming majority of football fans across our region behave impeccably, this is a reminder that anybody who does attempt to ruin the experience of other supporters will be punished accordingly.

“Such disorder will not be tolerated and those found guilty must realise the consequences of their actions. They could be banned from attending any regulated football match in this country for the next few years.

“I would like to warn fans that such banning orders can also affect your future career prospects, as they may be disclosed to potential employers through a vetting process or DBS check.

“I’m proud to say that in recent years, our football fans have worked really closely with police and partners, and that has positive relationship has continued at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.”