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Dec 10, 2012

Police arrest 9 in Rio Ferdinand incident

The FA are to investigate the scenes which marred the end of Sunday's Manchester derby, after Rio Ferdinand was struck by a coin thrown from the crowd.

Nine people were charged in connection with trouble at Sunday's Manchester derby, although they are still looking for the person who threw the coin that injured Rio Ferdinand, Greater Manchester police confirmed Monday.

Ferdinand was hit above the left eye by a two-pence coin thrown from the crowd as the team celebrated after Manchester United's last-gasp winner in their 3-2 Barclays Premier League away victory.

Among the charges faced by the nine people are racially aggravated public order and pitch encroachment.

Police are continuing to work with City to identify the offender who threw the coin at Ferdinand, a police spokesman said.

A Manchester City supporter ran on to the pitch to confront Ferdinand.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein this morning condemned the attacks on Ferdinand, and said the FA would investigate.

"I think it's disturbing that we're seeing a recurrence of these types of incidents. We've had racial abuse issues, the odd pitch incursion, things being thrown at players -- it's very unacceptable and has to be dealt with severely," he said.

"To my mind it's for the FA, the whole game of football and the authorities to work together to deal with this most severe matter.

The following people were charged: Peter Harrison, 30, of Springfield Road, Kearsley, Bolton, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offense.

Matthew Stott, 21, of Southfields, Knutsford, and Christopher Johnson, 52, of Ancoats Lane, Alderley Edge, were charged with pitch encroachment. Warren Singh, 19, of Oakdale Drive, Heald Green, Stockport, was charged with a public order offense. Sam Weatherby, 21, of Grant Street, Farnworth, Bolton, and Philip O'Leary, 24, of Heysbank Road, Disley, Stockport, were each charged with breaching football banning orders. Christopher O'Neil, 21, of Swainsthorpe Drive, Manchester, Andrew Martin, 20, of Northdale Drive, and Nicholas Morley, 21, of Chapel Lane, both Blackley, were all charged with being drunk and disorderly.

All are due before Manchester City Magistrates' Court on Jan. 4. Four other arrests were made.

Stott, 21, has had his season ticket removed for the rest of the season and faces a lifetime ban if found guilty in court of a charge of pitch encroachment.

"His season card has been immediately removed for the rest of the season and he has been charged to appear at court. If he is found guilty he faces a lifetime ban," said a City spokesman.

Stott, described by his solicitor as "not a stereotypical drunken football fan," said in a statement he would be writing to United defender Ferdinand to apologize.

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