LONDON: A Manchester City fan who confronted Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand on the Eastlands pitch in an ugly incident following last month’s Premier League clash has been banned from attending matches for three years.
Matthew Stott, 21, had to be restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart as he tried to reach Ferdinand, who was already bleeding from a cut caused by a coin thrown from the stands.
Ferdinand had been celebrating Robin van Persie’s late goal, which gave United a 3-2 win over their bitter rivals, when tempers boiled over.
Television footage of the incident was played at Manchester Magistrates Court showing Stott, who had been drinking heavily before kick-off, trying to get at the United defender.
Andy Holt, prosecuting, told the court after police caught him and cuffed him on the pitch he shouted a stream of abuse, even mocking the victims of the 1958 Munich disaster which saw several United players killed in a plane crash.
Stott, a landscape gardener, pleaded guilty to encroaching on the field of play and using insulting words or behaviour during the incident on December 9.
Stott was told he came close to going to prison, but instead his 56-day jail term was suspended for 12 months.
As well as the football ban and suspended jail sentence, he was ordered to do 120 hours community service, pay 145 in costs and observe a 2000GMT to 0600GMT home curfew for three months. – AFP
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