Merseyside Police insist ‘vast majority’ of Marine fans outside stadium ahead of Tottenham FA Cup clash were social distancing as talkSPORT host admits he was ‘really nervous’ January 11, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
talkSPORT commentator Sam Matterface admitted he ‘felt really nervous’ about the crowd that gathered outside Marine’s stadium ahead of their FA Cup clash against Tottenham.
Pictures and video were widely circulated on social media of the crowd that was outside the Rossett Park Stadium 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.
It was the biggest match in Marine’s history but fans had to make do with seeing the Premier League stars from their TV screens.
Pictures showed many people lining the streets 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 also released a statement saying the ‘vast majority’ were adhering to social distancing.
Superintendent Andy Rankine said in a statement: “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.”
Marine went on to lose the match 5-0 with Carlos Vinicius scoring a first half hat-trick.