Liverpool slash United FA Cup allocation by 1,000 on health and safety grounds
Liverpool officials have slashed the number of Manchester United fans allowed to travel to Anfield to ensure crowd safety during their FA Cup clash later this month.
United have been given 5,319 tickets for the fourth-round clash on Merseyside, well short of the 6,400 available seats in the lower tier of the Anfield Road stand which houses away fans.
The reduction in the number of available tickets has been ordered to keep gangways clear for health and safety reasons.
Red alert: United's allocation at Anfield has been slashed by Liverpool
The travelling United fans will be selected from those who apply and are on the list of pre-screened names with both clubs coming under increased scrutiny after events earlier this season.
United are unlikely to make any complaint – particularly with an allocation of 1,960 the norm for these fixtures – and with the Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra race row still fresh in the mind.
Suarez is currently serving an eight-game ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Evra at Anfield earlier this season
The Uruguay striker will not face United in their FA Cup clash on Saturday, January 28.
No me, guv: Suarez claimed he was innocent of race row charges
Suarez claimed the term with which he
was found to have insulted Evra is not derogatory in his native country,
but this was dismissed by an FA inquiry.
Liverpool have come in for criticism in recent weeks for the way they handled Suarez's unsuccessful defence against and they were also criticised for allowing their players to wear T-shirts in support of Suarez in last month's game at Wigan.
Merseyside Police are expected to release a statement calling for calm next week ahead of the game, although the clubs have decided against a joint initiative to ensure there’s no repeat of the recent controversy.