Police warning over Rangers visit to Manchester

CCTV footage of fans attacking police (GMP)
Image caption Rioting broke out in Manchester after big screens failed ahead of the 2008 Uefa Cup Final

Rangers fans who do not have tickets for their tie against Manchester United have been warned against travelling to Greater Manchester.

Rangers and United are due to play in a Champions League group tie at Old Trafford on 14 September.

Police want to stop a repeat of the rioting after the 2008 Uefa Cup Final against Zenit St Petersburg.

Greater Manchester Police have told Rangers fans without tickets that there is "no reason to come to this city".

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: "Inevitably people will attempt to draw comparisons with the 2008 Uefa Cup Final and the disorder that followed.

"I want to stress quite strongly that this is a totally different game under totally different circumstances. This match is part of a group stage and not a one-off final.

No events

"Football fans should only come to Manchester if they have a valid ticket for the match. If you don't have a ticket there is no reason to come to this city - no special events will be put on for you.

There are no special events planned, unlike in 2008 when the council laid on big screens in the city centre for the tens of thousands of fans who did not have tickets.

The rioting broke out when the screen in Piccadilly Gardens failed close to kick-off time.

Police officers were attacked and hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage was caused.

Last week, a judge at Manchester Crown Court jailed nine of the troublemakers, and detained two in young offenders institutions.

He described the events as "the worst night of violence and destruction suffered by Manchester city centre since the Blitz".

Rangers is providing coaches for all fans travelling to the match. Supporters will be driven to a holding zone at Wigan Athletic's DW stadium before being taken to Old Trafford ahead of the game at 1945 BST.

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