Belfast Telegraph

Burnley's pre-season friendly against Hannover abandoned following crowd trouble

Burnley's pre-season friendly at home to Hannover has been abandoned on police advice.

The Clarets were leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to a goal from Ben Mee when the announcement came.

A short statement on the club's Twitter account read: "Today's game has been abandoned, on police advice."

Photographs showed unrest in the stands, with police holding back Hannover fans from their home counterparts.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche backed the decision of the police.

He told the local press: "They called us in and said, 'Look, we're going to call it for the safety of all involved, stewards, fans, police etc'.

"That was pretty early. The police were in the referee's room, called me, went through the procedure, and obviously we fully support the police's decision.

"Hopefully nobody has got hurt. You can't really tell what's going on from how far away we are, but it didn't look ideal.

"You hope that's gone out of the game and it generally has. The police called it early. No one wanted anything other than a game of football."

A club statement on the trouble was expected later on Saturday.

Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell of Lancashire Police said a "robust policing operation" was in place based on "pre-game intelligence" and that additional resources from across the county have been brought in.

In a statement on burnleyfootballclub.com, Bithell said: "A decision has been taken to abandon the football match between Burnley FC and Hanover 96, following consultation between the police match commander, the referee and Burnley FC's grounds safety officer.

"This follows violent behaviour by a group of travelling Hanover fans, who attempted to attack fans in the home stands, as well as police officers and stewards.

"Although a robust policing operation was in place for the match, based on pre-game intelligence, additional resources have now been brought in from across the county to ensure no further disorder occurs."

Hannover released a statement on their website on Saturday night condemning the scenes.

It read: "Our attitude is clear: Hannover 96 condemns the incidents in the stadium and dissociates itself vehemently from any kind of violence.

"The club does not yet have any clear insights into the progress of the events. This information will be gathered in consultation with the police, the hosts from Burnley and fan representatives."

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