MP seeks debate over policing of football fans

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A ROW over police-imposed travel restrictions for Hull City fans at this month’s Yorkshire derby at Huddersfield Town has reached the House of Commons.

The kick-off for the Championship clash on March 30 has been put back to 5.20pm to allow the game to be televised, and concern over policing costs and potential crowd control issues has led West Yorkshire Police to say that City fans will only be admitted to the ground if they travel on official club transport from Hull.

The measures, which include cutting City’s ticket allocation from the usual 3,900 tickets to just 1,500, have angered many Tigers fans who live in West Yorkshire and further afield, as well as prompting criticism from the Football Supporters’ Federation and the threat of legal action.

Speaking in the Commons yesterday, Hull North Labour MP Diana Johnson, the Shadow Crime and Security Minister, asked whether the House could debate having “sensible guidelines” for police forces considering such restrictions.

One City fan, 15-year-old Louis Cooper from Manchester, has instructed lawyers to challenge the restrictions, claiming they would force him to miss the game.

Both clubs and the force are in talks aimed at settling the dispute.

Assistant Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “We are currently in negotiations and are speaking to both football clubs to address the issues which have been raised regarding some fans travelling to the Huddersfield Town v Hull City match.”