MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Premier League Burnley’s pre-season friendly match with Bundesliga club Hannover was abandoned at half-time following crowd trouble from the visiting German supporters.
Burnley said in a statement on Twitter that the game had been abandoned “on police advice” and home supporters were asked to leave the stadium.
Media reports said the visiting supporters had thrown seats and surged towards Burnley fans during the first half shortly after Burnley had taken the lead in the 41st minute.
Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell, of Lancashire Police, said in a statement posted on the force’s Facebook page that Hannover fans had also tried to attack police and stewards.
“A decision has been taken to abandon the football match between Burnley FC and Hanover 96, following consultation between the police match commander, the referee and Burnley FC’s grounds safety officer.
“This follows violent behaviour by a group of travelling Hanover fans, who attempted to attack fans in the home stands, as well as police officers and stewards,” he said.
The incidents took place in the Cricket Field stand which is divided between visiting and home supporters.
“Although a robust policing operation was in place for the match, based on pre-game intelligence, additional resources have now been brought in from across the county to ensure no further disorder occurs,” said Bithell.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said he backed the police’s decision to cut short the match.
“They called us in and said ‘Look, we’re going to call it for the safety of all involved, stewards, fans, police etc’.
“That was pretty early. The police were in the referee’s room, called me, went through the procedure, and obviously we fully support the police’s decision. Hopefully nobody has got hurt,” he said.
Burnley said they would be making a statement later on Saturday.
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Pritha Sarkar and Jason Neely