Warning for fans ahead of Leeds game

POLICE have warned Ipswich and Leeds supporters to behave themselves before, during, and after this Saturday’s match at Portman Road.

Officers are urging people to be respectful and responsible, particularly after the last time the clubs played each other in April 2007 when Town fans were pelted with bottles, coins and lighters at Elland Road, while players had to flee to the dressing room.

Leeds supporters charged on to the pitch to confront Ipswich fans after Alan Lee netted a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw which virtually relegated Leeds to League One.

The disturbance was such that the final 45 seconds of the match were delayed by 30 minutes as police attempted to clear fans from the pitch.

As a result 13 Leeds’ fans were banned from football for a total of 45 years and two of them were jailed for six and four months when the supporters appeared at the city’s crown court in January 2008.

There will be more than 100 officers from Suffolk and the British Transport Police on duty for this Saturday’s game.

Chief Inspector Paul Bradford, who will be overseeing the policing operation, said: “We hope that people celebrate the match sensibly and in the right spirit.

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“We will not tolerate anti-social behaviour, violence, racial chanting, mindless vandalism or any alcohol fuelled disorder. We will continue our use of firm but fair policing to ensure the safety of those attending the game and those members of the public wishing to go about their normal business.”

“We will use legislation available to us to prevent incidents escalating and maintain public safety by keeping those intent on disorder from the town. “

Anyone travelling to the match by coach or train is reminded that it is an offence to carry or possess alcohol on public vehicles being used to carry passengers to, or from, a designated sporting event.