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Euro 2016: Uefa report will say Windsor Park firework came from Romania fans

Northern Ireland fans have used video evidence (below) to argue the firework did not come from their end of the stadium

BY STEVEN BEACOM

Published 16/06/2015

Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes under his seat during the Euro 2016 Qualifier at Windsor Park in Belfast on Saturday
Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes under his seat during the Euro 2016 Qualifier at Windsor Park in Belfast on Saturday

The Uefa delegate's report on the firework incident at Windsor Park on Saturday night, during Northern Ireland and Romania's Euro 2016 qualifier, will state that the missile came from the Romanian section of the ground.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that the official report will clear Northern Ireland fans of throwing the firework, which hit and injured Presseye photographer Darren Kidd at the weekend.

Mr Kidd was sitting in front of the East Stand, filled with 3000 Northern Ireland fans, when the firework struck him. He suffered burns on his neck and arm.

After Northern Ireland fans were initially blamed for the incident, they insisted that the firework thrown at Windsor Park did not come from their end of the stadium and used video evidence to prove it on social media.

Irish FA President Jim Shaw had told the Belfast Telegraph earlier in the week that his information was that the firework had been thrown from the Romania section.

That will be confirmed by the Uefa report when it becomes public.

As is normally the case when an incident of this nature takes place, the IFA and Romania Football Federation will be asked to submit their observations before the IFA Disciplinary Committee meet next month.

They will then decide what, if any, punishment is required. Shaw remains hopeful that the IFA, given the previous behaviour record of the Northern Ireland fans, will receive only a warning for allowing the firework into their home stadium.

In contrast the Romania Football Federation could be looking at a hefty fine.

Earlier this month the Polish FA were fined £18,000 after their fans set off fireworks in Dublin in a Euro qualifier against the Republic of Ireland.

Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes
Photographer Darren Kidd is injured after a firecracker explodes

Gary McAllister, spokesperson for the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs, told the Belfast Telegraph that it was important for the authorities to find out who was responsible.

He added that fireworks are not in the culture of Northern Ireland football fans.

"Having viewed a video it appears that the firework or object came from the Romanian end. Obviously we haven’t had a detailed conversation with the IFA or PSNI so we are awaiting their response but looking at the video it does appear it came from the Romanian section," he said.

"I know in some countries fireworks are part of the football culture but it hasn’t been in Northern Ireland football.

"I can only remember seeing a flare being let off on two occasions.

"It is important that we look where responsibility for the incident lies and know that all right thinking Northern Ireland fans would not like to see anyone misbehave in matches and certainly would not want to see anyone hurt in the way that Darren Kidd was, but we all feel strongly that we don’t want to be wrongly blamed either because Northern Ireland fans have worked hard to gain a good record and good reputation."

Read more:

Northern Ireland fans blame Romanian supporters for Windsor Park firework blast that injured photographer at Euro 2016 qualifier

Northern Ireland v Romania Euro 2016 qualifier: UEFA opens proceedings against IFA over firework that hit photographer in Windsor Park  

Euro 2016: Shaw isn't expecting a big penalty for firework  

Northern Ireland 0 - 0 Romania: Crunch Euro qualifier ends in stalemate  

Belfast Telegraph

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