Manchester United’s scheduled clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday evening was called off after intense protests saw thousands of United fans take to the streets and invade the pitch. Two police officers were reported to be injured.
“This is a collective decision from the police, both clubs, the Premier League and local authorities,” announced the English Premier League, despite earlier reports that that game would go on at a later time on Sunday. A new date for the fixture has yet to be announced.
This marks the first time in history that an EPL match is postponed due to protests.
United supporters have been protesting the Glazers, the owning family behind the club, since the rise and fall of the European Super League last month. They are continuing to demand a change of ownership.
Thousands of protesters surrounded Old Trafford and even invaded the pitch, shooting gold and green flares (United’s original colours as Newton Heath), climbing the goal and forcing a lockdown, hours ahead of what would have been United’s clash against Liverpool.
The fixture could have decided Manchester City as the winners of the EPL if Liverpool defeated United, who are second on the table.
“Thousands of Manchester United fans began a protest against the club’s owners at Old Trafford this afternoon,” reported a BBC Sport journalist, Simon Stone.
Phil McNulty, a chief football writer at BBC Sport, said that Old Trafford went into “lockdown”.
“The security and safety of everyone at Old Trafford remains of paramount importance,” said a Premier League statement.
“We understand and respect the strength of feeling but condemn all acts of violence, criminal damage and trespass, especially given the associated Covid-19 breaches. “We sympathise with the police and stewards who had to deal with a dangerous situation that should have no place in football,” it continued.