Liverpool and Manchester United have warned fans they could be ejected or prosecuted for any “offensive or discriminatory behaviour” during Monday night’s clash between the two teams.
There is a history of bad blood between supporters of English football’s two most successful clubs stretching back decades. Last season there were isolated incidents when the teams met in the Europa League with both clubs fined €40,000 by UEFA, half of that suspended for two years, after crowd disturbances and “illicit chanting” during the two-legged tie.
Liverpool were fined a further €17,000 after supporters set off fireworks and threw objects and the first leg at Anfield kicked off late on March 10.
United, meanwhile, had to pay an additional €18,000 over crowd disturbances, blocked stairways and the throwing of objects during the return leg on March 17.
The joint statement said: “Both clubs, their supporters and football fans around the world are looking forward to this historic and passionate match between two of the sport’s biggest and oldest rivals.
“There is great rivalry between our fans, and we ask all supporters to be respectful and help eradicate all forms of offensive and discriminatory behaviour from the game.
“If any supporters are found to be engaged in any form of offensive or discriminatory behaviour by stewards or via CCTV, they will be immediately removed from the stadium, risk arrest, prosecution and be reported in accordance with the club’s ground regulations.
“This is an unrivalled fixture in the Premier League calendar and we thank all fans for their continued support in this important area of the game.”
A spokesperson for anti-discrimination group Kick it Out, said the two clubs “should be commended for this proactive approach ahead of this important fixture.”
Liverpool currently lie fourth in the Premier League table, two places and three points ahead of United.