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Ards slam 'idiots' in an apology to Cliftonville

by Conor McLaughlin

Cliftonville fans have praised Ards for an apology extended to them in the aftermath of unsavoury scenes at last week's League Cup semi-final.

The Clandeboye Park clash was marred by sectarian chanting, while Reds fans were also subjected to attacks outside the ground – incidents which Ards unreservedly condemned.

Now Ards have offered a personal apology, through their Supporters' Liaison Officer.

A letter sent to Cliftonville read: "I was approached (during the Ards v Glentoran match on Saturday) by many, many Ards supporters who all asked me to express their disgust at Tuesday night's unsavoury incidents. They asked me to make it clear that the idiots who chanted their vile hatred all night are in no way Ards supporters.

"The true supporters of the club want nothing to do with them and we all offer our deepest apologies to anyone associated with Cliftonville FC who was subjected to this.

"As well as the singing of the bigoted songs, we know there were other incidents during the game and we also offer our apologies for those.

"This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable and nobody should have to endure it. The Cliftonville and Ards clubs have had a great relationship over many years. Can you please convey this apology to the rest of the Board, your team and supporters." The Reds issued a statement welcoming the apology.

Meanwhile, Warrenpoint Town's battle with Ards at Milltown on Thursday will go ahead at 3pm after league officials were assured there would be no repeat of the floodlight failure that brought a premature end to the Town-Glenavon clash.

* Cliftonville defender Jaimie McGovern has signed a new contract. McGovern stated on Twitter: "Delighted to agree to stay with the Reds for another two and a half years... hopefully exciting times ahead."

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