Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry City promotion: Men sought by police after disorder

Images of three suspects police wish to speak to Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Police said they would be "looking out" for suspects at forthcoming matches

Suspects believed to have been involved in violence after fans celebrated Coventry City FC's promotion have been identified by police.

Two men were chased by a group of fans who hurled bottles on Tuesday.

Detectives said they were aware of the perception the attack was racially motivated and were keeping "an open mind" but there was so far no evidence.

The West Midlands force released images of three men they wished to speak to after the city-centre disorder.

Several hundred people gathered in Broadgate in Coventry city centre at about 17:00 BST.

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Media captionCoventry promotion: Video shows men 'chased by group of fans'

Police at the scene were told two men - who were seen hiding from the crowd behind bins in a video believed to show the incident - were carrying knives, but no weapons were found.

The men were not arrested, police said, although one man was handcuffed to be searched.

Ch Supt Mike O'Hara said officers "put themselves in harm's way" between the men and the crowd while bricks and bottles were thrown at them.

"This kind of violence will not be tolerated in our city," he said.

"If there is any racial element involved in this, we will take a very robust line on that."

Image caption West Midlands Police said "the gathering was good natured" before the disturbance broke out

The force has urged anyone with information about the suspects to get in touch and warned that officers will "be out looking for them at forthcoming matches".

Coventry City FC said it was aware of the videos and would "liaise directly" with police.

The club said it was "clear and long-standing in our anti-racism and discrimination stance", and had supported Kick It Out - the campaign against racism in football - and the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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