A MINORITY of football fans “intent on engaging in disorder” at an upcoming match are being warned by police that their anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.

Trouble at Middlesbrough Football Club’s last home against Leeds United in March 2018 saw five Leeds fans arrested on suspicion of throwing missiles and public order offences.

The two teams will meet again this weekend at the Riverside Stadium, with Cleveland Police advising a dispersal order to split up any groups causing a disturbance in Middlesbrough town centre on Saturday will be in place.

Officers have added that anyone found to be committing offences on the day will be prosecuted and put before the courts.

The Northern Echo:

Match commander, Chief Superintendent John Lyons, said: “The overwhelming majority of football fans attending this match will simply wish to watch the game, support their team and enjoy the day, but sadly a small minority of fans attend matches to engage in antisocial behaviour and disorder, which can spoil the game for genuine fans and their families.

“Any incidents such as missile throwing, pitch invasion or public order will not be tolerated. Officers will be in and around the Riverside Stadium alongside colleagues from British Transport Police, Middlesbrough FC and Mounted Section colleagues from Northumbria Police.

“There will be dogs trained to search for pyrotechnics and drugs at all entrances to the stadium and anyone found to be in possession of either will not be permitted to enter and risk facing criminal proceedings.

“Our primary aim on the day is to ensure the safety of everyone in and around the area and to facilitate a friendly and enjoyable day for all the genuine fans and their families who are attending.”

The dispersal order will be in place in Middlesbrough town centre for a period of 24 hours.

Leeds United fans travelling to Middlesbrough for the game are encouraged to gather at Spensley’s Emporium on Albert Road, Middlesbrough.