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Police issue statement on Marine fans welcoming team bus outside stadium

Merseyside Police issue a statement on some controversy of Marine fans welcoming the Tottenham team bus outside their stadium.

talkSPORT commentator Sam Matterface admitted that he ‘felt really nervous’ about the crowd that chose to clump together ahead of their FA Cup clash with Tottenham, who sit 5th in the Premier League table.

Pictures and video have been widely circulated online of the crowd that was outside the Rossett Park Stadium before the game on Sunday.

The current national lockdown in England sees all sport being played behind closed doors with a stay at home order in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, though there were fans spotted from their house gardens to see the likes of Gareth Bale and Dele Alli.

Pictures showed many people lining the streets in groups huddled together to cheer on the Marine and Tottenham players as they arrived.

Matterface, who posted a video of the crowds on social media, said on talkSPORT: “I pulled up in my car and I saw people gathering and thought ‘I’m not parking here’ and went further down the road.

“I had all the equipment with me, walked down the road and I felt really nervous about the fact there were so many people there.

“I walked in the middle of the road then I crossed over to the area I could get in. I did that, set the equipment up and went back outside to try and get some video footage of it.

“I wanted to document that it happened really and what it was like outside but I didn’t go any further than the entrance of the ground.

“I put a video out on Twitter and you can see it. I turned it round, I stood in one place to keep away from everybody to make sure that I am; one social distancing and two not getting involved in the melee.

“I was surprised how many people were there. There were two police cars that pulled up while I was parking my car but there was not much social distancing going on.

“I know there was a lot of resentment about it on Twitter and social media about the fact that people weren’t social distancing and I’m not surprised.

“I must admit it took me back a little bit.”

Merseyside Police released a statement saying that the ‘vast majority’ were sticking to social distancing.

Superintendent Andy Rankine: “Officers are in Crosby this afternoon ahead of Marine FC’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur.

“A small gathering took place ahead of the arrival of the team coaches, and road closures were put in place to facilitate this arrival safely. The vast majority of people present were adhering to social-distancing measures and those who were not were advised by officers.

“As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will always strive to encourage people to disperse and go home peacefully.

“But where we face blatant breaches of legislation, people ignoring the restrictions and even obstructing police from carrying out their duty, our officers will not hesitate to take enforcement action.

“Those attending have now left the area and we hope everyone enjoys the occasion safely at home.”

Twitter users reacted before police chose to issue a statement on Marine fans welcoming the team bus outside the stadium…

@AForce316: Yes let’s applaud and promote the lack of rule following during a pandemic that the people stood there will be the ones who are fed up of lockdowns and the restrictions but continue to break them and thus make them go on longer. But as always it won’t be the scousers fault

@Hallowes_Blade: While 2 people get fined for meeting in the countryside . Worlds upside down.

@95_reynolds: Irresponsible reporting to suggest this is a fantastic arrival. It’s dangerous and will do nothing but spread the virus. Good luck to Marine, but this video epitomises why professional sport should be suspended amid rapidly rising case and death rates.

@RalphyHearn: Agreed, this is stupidity of the highest order from the local residents but not as if this happens at any premier/ football league games being played every week.

@TidyTouch10: Must be classed as ‘essential’ to drive 5 miles down the road to cheer on a team you’ve never actually seen play in your life….

@DaveMcKFlit: I must have missed that bit where Merseyside now had all been Vaccinated and the COVID crisis was over. It’s beyond words

@m__webb: Good to see the good people listening to the lock down laws. This is never going to end!!!!!

@JPrentice8: This is why as a country we’re in the shit

@1875bluesHK: We’re supposed to be in lockdown. Where are the police? Can’t walk round a reservoir but can gather in crowds to clap a football team

@JBurrow90: I must have missed the bit in Boris’s announcement of a national lockdown that said you can still go watch the FA Cup

@craigbourton: The crowds there is absolutely disgusting! Not dealing with them, but picking on 2 people out for a walk or sitting on a bench as unacceptable. Get your priorities right people.

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