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Nine arrested as Liverpool fans defy police warnings to gather at Anfield

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Nine people were arrested as Merseyside Police issued a dispersal zone around Anfield on Wednesday evening after Liverpool fans defied warnings not to gather outside the stadium on Premier League trophy night.

The force moved to set up the quarantine – which remains in place until 9.30pm on Friday – following scenes of tightly-packed crowds on the streets outside the ground, while the champions played out their final game of the season at home to Chelsea, winning 5-3.

Both police and the club had warned fans not to gather outside the ground due to coronavirus social distancing guidelines, but many appeared less than one metre between each other and were not wearing masks.

Assistant Chief Constable Natalie Perischine, from Merseyside Police, said: “We put a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation in place ahead of the game, with the safety of the public paramount in our decision making. I want to thank all those fans who heeded advice to stay home and watch the celebrations on TV.

“Officers made a total of nine arrests outside Anfield last night for affray, assault, people who were drunk and disorderly and drug driving.

“The vast majority of the crowd were good natured and had dispersed by 2am. Thankfully we didn’t see the sort of incidents of disorder and criminal damage we saw at the Pier Head on 27 June, the investigation into which has seen more than 20 arrests made to date.”

Chief Constable Andy Cooke had warned before the game that supporters could face arrest if they congregated in large numbers outside Anfield on Wednesday night.

“I’m not just here as the chief constable of Merseyside Police today,” he said. “I’m here as a father, husband, son and brother who cares about their family and friends and the potential impact a second spike of coronavirus could have on the people of Merseyside.

“This pandemic has not gone away and since the restart of the Premier League, we’ve worked relentlessly with Liverpool FC, public health [bodies], and Spirit of Shankly to remind people of the genuine dangers this virus still presents.

“We will have a full policing operation in place at the ground and surrounding areas tomorrow night and my officers will take action if people fail to adhere to social distancing regulations and potentially put other members of the public at risk.”

Sourceskysports

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