PSNI threaten to unmask suspected soccer hooligans

Police have threatened to unmask suspects snapped during clashes between fans at a Portadown FC and Newry City soccer match in April.

Video of the violence at Newry Showgrounds appeared to involve supporters from both clubs.

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

Later Portadown FC announced that a number of fans involved had been banned from home games for life.

Two people required treatment for injuries following the confrontation at the end of the Bluefin Sport Championship fixture.

This morning the PSNI released a number of images of suspects they want to speak to in relation to the incident.

On the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page, they said: “You may remember a couple of months ago there was an incident at a match between Newry and Portadown. Our public order enquiry team took on the investigation. After reviewing footage, we established there was evidence of offences which gave us nine suspects.

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

“The reaction from Portadown FC showed, to put it mildly, exceptional leadership. They not only condemned those who were involved, but moved remarkably quickly in taking steps to issue banning notices to those who had used the guise of the club name for pure thuggery. They also worked along side us to help identify those who tried to blemish the club’s name.

“Of the nine, we quickly identified seven. That leaves us with two.

“It’s unclear where they are from, what club they claim association to and most importantly- who they are.

“We would expect- indeed all right-minded football fans would too - that both clubs and their fan base would cooperate fully with the investigation.

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

Police want to speak to people at the Portadown FC and Newry City match who are suspected of causing trouble at a match

“The next step in the investigation is simple - Op Exposure.

“The blur that is currently over these faces will be lifted. The images will be put out publicly. They’ll be identified, and interviewed by ourselves.

“If it goes to court, their rough addresses will be in the public domain. It will be obvious what club affiliation they have, and who, if anyone, has been hiding them.

“We don’t want to go that route. We’d much rather have had this sorted earlier than now, but we are where we are. The best way to avoid further attention and certainly any further publicity is very straight forward- if you recognise yourself or someone in these photos from clothing and you haven’t yet spoken to us, give us a call. Indeed if this has suddenly jogged your memory and you remember something you hadn’t when first spoken to, we’d be only too glad to hear from you again. Maybe seeing this image will help you remember who was brandishing goal posts on the roof that night?

“Call us on 101. The incident number is 1679 of 20/04/18.”