Manchester derby: Nine charged by police

Manchester City's Joe Hart stops a fan who walked onto the pitch to confront Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand City goalkeeper Joe Hart stopped a fan from confronting Ferdinand after the defender was injured

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Nine people have been charged after the match between Manchester City and Manchester United on Sunday.

United's Rio Ferdinand was injured when he was hit by an object thrown from someone in the crowd at the end of the derby game at the Etihad Stadium.

Police are still trying to identify the person responsible for the attack.

However, officers have charged nine people, including one with racially aggravated public order and two with encroaching on the pitch.

Two people are accused of breaching a football banning order, one with a public order offence and three with being drunk and disorderly.

Ferdinand received a cut above his left eye as he celebrated Robin van Persie's late goal.

'Extremely ashamed'

The Dutch striker's deflected free-kick ensured United won the Premier League game 3-2 following a fightback from City, who had been 2-0 down at half time.

As Ferdinand was recovering from the attack, Manchester City fan Matthew Stott ran on to the field towards the defender, but was stopped by City goalkeeper Joe Hart before he could reach him.

Mr Stott, 21, a landscape gardener from Knutsford, Cheshire, is one of the two men now charged with pitch encroachment.

Rio Ferdinand Ferdinand received a cut above his left eye

In a statement issued through his solicitor, he said: "I would like to apologise to all those affected by my actions yesterday, particularly Mr Ferdinand and the other players.

"I am extremely ashamed of my actions. I have let myself down, my family down, my fellow fans down and Manchester City Football Club.

"I intend to write personally to Mr Ferdinand to express my extreme regret and apologies and also apologise to Manchester United and their fans.

"I would like to thank Joe Hart for his actions when I came on the pitch."

As well as those charged, police said four others were arrested including a 50-year-old man who was held for ticket touting but was released without charge.

'High tension'

A 45-year-old man was summonsed for a racially aggravated public order offence.

An 18-year-old woman was cautioned for being drunk and disorderly and a 33-year-old man remains in police custody after being arrested on suspicion of possessing a Class A drug.

Ch Insp Steve Howard said: "To have just 13 arrests for a crowd of this size and a match of this proportion is a testament to the policing operation we put in place.

"Despite fierce rivalry and high tension there was no major disorder.

"However, we will continue to investigate the coin-throwing incident and are determined to work with the club to bring the perpetrator to justice."

The nine people who have been charged are due to appear before Manchester City Magistrates' Court on 4 January.

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