UEFA riots arrests


By Cara Sulieman

POLICE hunting alleged Rangers fans who rioted during last year’s UEFA cup final say they have now identified all 49 suspects after a UK-wide appeal.

Greater Manchester Police carried out more dawn raids yesterday across the country as a part of Operation Gale and arrested seven men, bringing the total detained so far to 17.

Further arrests are expected.

The latest arrests come 49 days after the initial appeal was first launched meaning investigators have identified an average of one suspect per day.

Although most of those arrested have been from the west coast of Scotland, others were arrested in Lanarkshire, East Lothian and as far a field as Essex.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they have identified all 49 suspects.

She said: “The photographs of suspects have been taken down from the appeal website for legal reasons.

“They won’t be going up again because the police have been given names for everyone in the photos.”

Four of the men arrested on Monday have been bailed until June 2, and another until June 7 whilst further enquiries are ongoing. Police were expected to release further details of yesterday’s arrests later.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said: “It is likely those arrested today will also be released on bail.

“The arrests will carry on until they have everyone they’re looking for.”

Before this week’s raids, the police had already arrested five men in connection with the riots in late February and early March.

They have also been bailed pending further enquiries.

The riots took place in the streets of Manchester city centre during and after the final between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg.

Trouble first broke out when one of the giant outside screens designed to show the match to fans didn’t work before the kick-off.

In the resulting violence, police were attacked, and property was trashed.

Detective Superintendent Geoff Wessell, leading the investigation, said: “May 14 2008 is a night when shameful violence marred what should have been a wonderful football showcase.”