England

Football fans to stage protest over police restrictions

  • 21 March 2013
  • From the section England
Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium
Image caption The match will be played at Huddersfield's John Smith's Stadium

Hundreds of football fans plan to protest against "draconian" ticket and travel restrictions for Hull City's game at Huddersfield Town.

Angry supporters have said they will march through Huddersfield before the match on 30 March.

West Yorkshire Police upset away fans saying they must collect tickets from a service station on the M62 and board official buses.

Hull City FC said the decision had led to the "criminalisation" of fans.

As of Thursday lunchtime a spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police said discussions over the proposed march were ongoing but no formal application had been received.

The club has given its backing to the protest being organised by the Football Supporters Federation (FSF) and official supporters' groups.

A statement released on the club website said: "We recognise, and empathise with, the deep sense of grievance over West Yorkshire Police's effective criminalisation of Hull City supporters."

Protestors are expected to meet at Huddersfield Railway Station at 13:45 GMT before marching to the town's Piazza shopping centre.

Amanda Jacks, from the FSF, said up to 300 people, including Huddersfield Town supporters, are due to take part in the demonstration.

"The people of Hull simply want to demonstrate their strength of feeling against how West Yorkshire Police have handled this," she said.

Supporters are being encouraged to carry non-alcoholic drinks and hold placards stating their profession "so people can see the person behind the fan".

Restrictions were imposed after the kick-off time for the match at Huddersfield Town's John Smith's stadium was changed to 17:20 GMT to allow Sky to broadcast the game live.

Police have previously said "policing higher-risk fixtures later in the afternoon increases the likelihood of disorder over a longer period of time and impacts upon policing the night-time economy".

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