Nine charged in connection with trouble at Manchester derby

Greater Manchester Police today confirmed nine people had been charged in connection with trouble at yesterday’s Manchester derby.

Trouble flared after Manchester United’s last-gasp winner in their 3-2 Premier League away victory when Rio Ferdinand was hit above the left eye by a two-pence coin thrown from the crowd as the team celebrated.

With blood pouring down his face, there was more controversy when a Manchester City supporter ran on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand.

Among the charges faced by the nine people are racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment.

Police are still hunting for the person who threw the coin.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein this morning condemned the attacks on Ferdinand and called for life bans for the culprits.

He told Sky Sports News: “It is deplorable to see those incidents and to see Rio Ferdinand with blood on his face is absolutely terrible.”

“I think it’s disturbing that we’re seeing a recurrence of these types of incidents. We’ve had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players – it’s very unacceptable and has to be dealt with severely.

“To my mind it’s for the FA, the whole game of football and the authorities to work together to deal with this most severe matter.

“I believe that if necessary these people need to go to the court and be banned for life, if they’re found out.”

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