Manchester United have insisted they will press ahead with a minute's silence to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster at next month's derby against Manchester City despite fears that some rival fans may try to disrupt it.
City's official supporters club had written to United and the Premier League to request that a minute's applause be held instead prior to the match at Old Trafford on February 10.
However, United's communications director Phil Townsend told the club's official website today: 'Manchester United have given great thought to the best way of remembering those who died at Munich. We feel a minute's silence is the most appropriate way of paying tribute.
'We do not feel that applause is appropriate given that 23 people died.'
The game takes place four days after the 50th anniversary of the disaster, in which seven United players were killed.
Kevin Parker, the City supporters' club secretary, had said: 'Although there is some friendly rivalry between supporters of the two clubs, there is also a great deal of hatred and there will be some City fans who will not want to go along with the recognition of the disaster.
'We plead with United to change the proposed minute's silence to applause.
'In this way, any idiot who does not share these views (of respect) will be drowned out rather than highlighted.'