Rioters may be prosecuted

GLENAVON chairman Adrian Teer has warned any supporters involved in the brawl after the Boxing Day derby that they could be prosecuted following their actions.

The club are currently reviewing CCTV footage of the scuffle, which occurred in the Glenfield Road stand after people from the home support in the Crescent End made their way to the Portadown support.

Stewards from both clubs tried to stop the violence before police arrived at the scene and Teer says that the PSNI may become further involved if the club can identify anyone involved in the violence.

“We have live CCTV coverage at Mourneview Park and one of our first aims will be to identify the individuals who were involved and to bring them to the attention of the police,” he said.

“Under current legislation; the Criminal Justice Act (NI), these people can be banned from the ground and prosecuted.

“The club condemns the violence. Mindless violence like that has no place in Irish League Football.

“It’s a problem at football matches worldwide, it’s not confined to Mourneview Park. If people, fuelled by alcohol or otherwise, decide to step outside the bounds of respectable responsibility, it can be very hard for the forces of law and order to control.”

Health and safety have tried to curb scenes such as those witnessed on Monday, but with Monday’s derby all-ticket, their actions seem to have had little effect. Teer says that the club will meet with the council’s health and safety officers to discuss their actions ahead of next month’s Glenavon v Portadown Irish Cup fixture.

“It will call for a review of our health and safety arrangements, particularly with respect to derby games,” he said.

“We have no history of unrest at Glenavon v Portadown games at Mourneview Park so what happened yesterday was certainly not the pattern in seasons gone by. From that point of view, these things can happen at any football match with people under the influence of alcohol.

“We have a meeting of our own health and safety sub-committee scheduled for later this week prior to meeting the Craigavon Borough Council health and safety people to discuss the arrangements for the Irish Cup match.

“In theory, you can arrange all-ticket matches, limit the numbers and get everybody to sit down but it doesn’t work out that way in football throughout the world. There’s going to be aggro.

“We have enough trouble attracting people to Irish League football without driving them away with that sort of carry-on.”

However, the chairman did also call for the skirmish to be put in perspective with the vast majority of supporters from both sides uninvolved:

“Talk of a riot is nonsense. It was an altercation between about 50 supporters, about 20 or 30 on each side and I think that needs to be emphasised. It was out of a crowd of around 2000 people.”