Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Portadown lifetime bans over violent clashes at Newry match

By Staff Reporter

Portadown Football Club has announced that a number of fans involved in a violent incident at a match against Newry City have been banned from home games for life.

The trouble happened at the Newry Showgrounds on Friday evening and involved supporters from both clubs.

The father of Sinn Fein representative Valerie Harte was injured during the altercation, with the councillor branding those involved "criminal thugs".

Shocking footage of the clash shows fighting between around half a dozen men, with a steward attempting to come between them.

At one point one of the rioters can be seen picking up what appears to be part of a goal frame and using it as a weapon.

Two people required treatment for injuries following the ugly confrontation at the end of the Bluefin Sport Championship fixture, which finished 0-0.

Fans gained access to a the roof of a building in Greenbank Industrial Estate, adjacent to the sponsors' lounge at the stadium.

One elderly Newry fan was hit by a glass and was treated at the scene, while a Portadown supporter needed hospital treatment after falling from the roof of a car.

Several cars were also damaged during the violence.

In a statement posted on the Twitter page of Portadown FC yesterday, the club's board of directors said: "Whilst we feel that the safety management arrangements were less than satisfactory during and after the game, and we have concerns with the manner in how the incident was handled, this in no way excuses the type of behaviour witnessed between both sets of supporters."

The club stated that it had identified a number of those involved and had issued them with lifetime bans from Shamrock Park, Portadown's home ground.

It said it is working to identify the remaining individuals involved and would be issuing them with lifetime bans once they have done so.

"This type of behaviour has no place in sport, and Portadown FC has and will continue to work very hard with supporters groups and the authorities to help eradicate unacceptable behaviour by anyone associated with Portadown FC," the board of directors statement added.

"We issue our heartfelt sympathy to anyone affected in the aftermath of the game."

Earlier this week, Newry City also condemned the scenes of violence.

The Co Down club's spokesperson Laura Hillen said: "They have no place in football and we will be working closely with the relevant authorities to identify those involved."

Belfast Telegraph

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