LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — English champion Liverpool has condemned the behavior of some fans who gathered in the city to celebrate the club’s Premier League title win after a 30-year wait.
Merseyside Police issued a dispersal order for Liverpool city center on Friday night. This allowed police to disperse crowds who gathered on the Pier Head, after part of the Liver Building caught fire amid the wild celebrations despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Videos circulating on social media showed a firework hitting the distinctive building, which is partly owned by Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
A joint statement on behalf of the club, Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police was issued on Saturday.
It said: “Several thousand people turned up at the Pier Head on Friday June 26 and some chose to ignore the social distancing guidance and risk public safety. Our city is still in a public health crisis and this behavior is wholly unacceptable.”
The statement added: “When it is safe to do so, we will all work together to arrange a victory parade when everyone can come together to celebrate.”
Four fire engines were sent to the Liver Building, where they extinguished a blaze on a balcony, a Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said. The floor of the balcony was damaged.
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said two officers needed medical treatment for injuries to their backs after bottles were thrown at them as they went to help an assault victim in a crowd of supporters at the Pier Head.
He said later a group of about 100 people threw glasses and bottles at riot police as they tried to stop them committing acts of disorder in the city center. Roy said there was “a number of really violent, absolutely unacceptable, incidents of violence and disorder throughout the city center.”
Fifteen people have been arrested for public order offences and one man was arrested on suspicion of assault, he said.