Manchester City's Joe Hart (C) prevents a supporter from
reaching Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand (L) after
Ferdinand was struck by an object thrown from the crowd
during the teams' Premier League match in Manchester
yesterday. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Nine people have been charged after yesterday's derby
between Manchester City and Manchester United, police say,
although they are still trying to identify the person who threw
a coin at Rio Ferdinand.
United defender Ferdinand was cut just above his left eye
after being hit by the coin while celebrating Robin van
Persie's late goal which gave the Premier League leaders a
3-2 win at City's Etihad stadium.
"Despite fierce rivalry and high tension there was no major
disorder," Greater Manchester Police chief inspector Steve
Howard said in a statement.
"However, we will continue to investigate the coin throwing
incident and are determined to work with the club to bring
the perpetrator to justice."
City fan Matthew Stott, 21, ran on to the pitch and tried to
reach Ferdinand as he was recovering but was restrained by
the home side's goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Stott, one of two men charged with pitch encroachment, issued
an apology through his solicitors on Monday, saying: "I would
like to apologise to all those affected by my actions
yesterday particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.
"I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself
down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City
Football club. I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand
to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise
to Manchester United and their fans.
"I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came
on the pitch."
A total of 13 arrests were made by police. Of the nine people
charged, one was for a racially aggravated public order
Those charged are due to appear at Manchester City
Magistrates' Court on January 4.
Manchester City also issued an apology to Ferdinand
"unreservedly condemning the actions which led to him being
injured" and in a strongly worded statement said they would
discipline any fans found guilty of offences.
The FA is also investigating the incident which led to calls
from the governing body's chairman David Bernstein to ban
those found guilty of anti-social behaviour at football
matches for life.
Professional Footballers' Association boss Gordon Taylor has
suggested netting should be erected in vulnerable stadium
zones, including corner flag areas, to protect players from
objects thrown by the crowd.