Manchester City and Liverpool have written a joint letter to supporters of both clubs begging to act and report fans who don’t in a bid to end the toxic feud between the two sides.
In an effort to eliminate bad blood ahead of Thursday’s Carabao Cup clash at the Etihad Stadium, City chief executive Ferran Soriano and his Liverpool counterpart Billy Hogan urged fans to report any crowd problems or disturbing incidents. Any fans found guilty of “unacceptable behavior” will be issued with a ban.
Liverpool’s 1-0 win over City at Anfield in October led to peace talks last month between senior officials from both clubs and representatives of City Matters, City’s elected supporters’ network, and the Liverpool Supporters’ Council in a desperate bid to improve relations. .
City alleged that coins were thrown at manager Pep Guardiola during the match and that his team bus was attacked on the way out of Anfield, as happened during the Champions League quarter-final match between the two sides in 2018.
Liverpool condemned the bad chants from City fans mocking the Hillsborough disaster as well as the graffiti in the Lost Hall about the tragedy that claimed the lives of 97 people.
Now, Soriano and Hogan have urged fans to work with clubs to identify any fans responsible for antisocial behavior as they try to end hostilities.
“We appreciate that some fans may not be aware of the impact of their behavior on other fans, both on and off the field, and we will continue to work with our fans on this education,” the City and Liverpool executives wrote.
“However, it is important for everyone to understand that we are fully committed to dealing with unacceptable behavior and will take action by issuing bans to those found responsible.
“We have included chairs from both fan groups in our discussions and have had their full support to help create the right environment for our matches.
“If we stand together to report behaviors and actions that cause harm — including inappropriate gestures, cheering, and throwing things, as well as any and all forms of discrimination — we can all focus on supporting our teams.”
Soriano and Hogan said they were asking for the fans’ “full support” to help them deal with “behaviors and actions that have no place in our game” and to ensure that “the good names of our club are preserved”.
It is also likely to put more pressure on Guardiola and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to keep their emotions in check.
The Football Association suspended Klopp on the touchline for one match due to his angry confrontation with assistant referee Gary Beswick after he denied Mohamed Salah a free kick late in the second half of the October victory.
Guardiola was also caught up in the heat of the moment at Anfield when he vented his anger at fourth official Mike Dean after City had denied a penalty.
City were also angered by what they felt was inflammatory language by Klopp over their transfer spending in the run-up to the game.
Soriano and Hogan said City and Liverpool fans can report any incidents on match day by speaking to the stadium host, downloading the Kick It Out app, visiting https://www.liverpoolfc.com/redtogether/reporting-online-abuse or sending an email to [email protected]
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