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Police say sorry to Stoke fans

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Every week we have our column in the Daily Mirror’s Saturday Mania section which gives us the chance to flag up fan issues that otherwise might slip by the mainstream media. See below for the latest piece and let us know if there’s anything you think we should be reporting on.

The FSF Fans’ Forum column from Saturday’s Daily Mirror Mania:

Last week saw an almost unprecedented apology from one of the country’s top policemen to a group of football supporters.

Ian Hopkins, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), attended a Stoke City Fans Forum to personally apologise for the treatment of fans by his officers.

After their match with Bolton hundreds of Stoke fans were forced onto trains heading to the wrong station, before being detained and then marched across Manchester in a police escort.

Individual officers’ conduct was called into question after the way they dealt with the group.

Now we’re all for ensuring troublemakers are removed from the game and making sure they don’t cause bother for everyone else, but these were just ordinary fans trying to get home.

This apology is a big deal, so well done to GMP for making it. It’s good to see them acting on the complaints of supporters on this occasion. After their misuse of Section 27 powers on supporters last season, which the FSF campaigned against, it’s good to see them trying to build links with fans.

We hope that other police forces follow suit, and take more of an interest in what we are saying about the way we are policed week in, week out.

All we want is a Fair Cop.

Maradona. When you’ve got some of the best players in the world, only just qualifying for the World Cup is not good enough – nor is launching a foul-mouthed tirade gloating at reporters afterwards.

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