Monday, September 21, 2009

Police probe Bellamy altercation

Police are investigating an incident in which Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy confronted a fan on the pitch.

Bellamy marched towards the man, who staged a solo pitch invasion, and shoved him in the face before the fan was led away by match stewards at the Manchester derby game. The man ran from the Manchester United home section as City took the kick-off following Michael Owen's late goal in United's 4-3 victory.

Neither the fan nor the Wales international have made a complaint to police about the clash on Sunday.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "At the end of the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford, a member of the public ran on to the pitch, and was detained by police and security staff. During this time, there was an altercation between the man and a player from Manchester City FC. No formal complaint has been made by either party but police are continuing to make inquiries."

Mark Hughes has leapt to Bellamy's defence with the City manager feeling blame should lie with the supporter, as it is illegal for them to enter onto the field of play. "I did not see it but the guy should not have been on the pitch. That is not acceptable," said Hughes. "I seem to recall Brian Clough clipping someone around the ear and he was lauded as a national hero. Maybe it will be the same case with Craig but I doubt it. I'm sure people will make a nuisance about it."

Hughes also confirmed that substitute Javier Garrido was hit by a coin as the players retreated to the dressing room at half-time. Seemingly, the object was intended to hit Carlos Tevez, who returned to his former club for the first time since a summer switch across the city. Garrido was not hurt, but again the FA are likely to be interesting in more details. "Apparently so," Hughes confirmed. "Something came from the crowd but he is okay."

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