Manchester derby fallout continues as Gareth Barry is cited for abuse
The fallout from Sunday’s Manchester derby continued to rumble on yesterday, with City’s Gareth Barry charged with verbally abusing a match official and a 15-year-old arrested for sending a racist tweet to a United player during the match.
The pulsating match at City’s Etihad Stadium, won 3-2 by United after a late goal by Dutch striker Robin van Persie, was marred by crowd disturbances towards the end of the game.
Police are trying to identify a supporter who threw a coin at United defender Rio Ferdinand which left him bleeding from a cut above his left eye, while a City supporter ran on to the pitch and had to be restrained by the home side’s goalkeeper Joe Hart. Thirteen people were arrested after the match, with nine being charged.
There has been further action since, with Greater Manchester Police dealing with the latest in a long line of Twitter-related problems in English football.
“Police investigating a racist tweet sent during Sunday’s Manchester derby have made an arrest,” a GMP statement said yesterday. “An investigation was launched following a message directed at a Manchester United player. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence on the evening of Monday, 10 December, 2012.”
Also yesterday, City midfielder Barry booked himself a date with the Football Association after it announced the England man had been charged for using abusive language towards a match official.
Barry has until 4pm tomorrow to respond to the charge, which it is understood arose as a result of an incident after the match. If he does not contest it, the midfielder will receive a one-match ban, but should he contest it and the charge be proven against him, the suspension will be increased to two games.
Barry has started 15 of the last 17 matches both domestically and in the Champions League and plays a vital part in the defensive balance of the side which allows the more creative players to get forward with security.
United winger Ryan Giggs, meanwhile, says it is up to the clubs, police and the FA to ensure the scenes witnessed in the derby are not repeated.
Giggs watched the coin-throwing incident unfold from the bench and can understand the anger felt by Ferdinand, having himself been in a similar position in the past.
“No it’s [the incident] is not isolated,” said Giggs. “The manager touched on it. I got hit at Chelsea when Chicharito scored.
“It happens. I think it’s tough for someone to get hit in the face, for everyone to sort of make a big a thing out of it.
“It’s not just one club, it’s not just City, it’s not just Chelsea. Every club, the excitement and the passion we all want, but we don’t want it to tip over the edge. A centimetre either side and Rio loses an eye. It is up to the clubs and the police, the FA to do everything in our power to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Ferdinand has been criticised for celebrating Van Persie’s winner in front of the home fans, but Giggs feels the way the supporters are segregated and the importance of the goal makes it almost impossible not to do so.
“It’s tough at City because their hardcore supporters are right next to our supporters,” he added. “When they are so close together how can you determine whether you just celebrating in front of United fans?”
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