swansea v cardiff............carling cup!!

Bluebirds fans can go to cup clash
Aug 31 2008 by Ben Glaze, Wales On Sunday

WALES’ two biggest football clubs will meet in the Carling Cup – and away fans are expected to be allowed to travel.

Cardiff City and Swansea City were yesterday drawn against each other in the third round of the competition.

They meet at the Liberty Stadium in a midweek fixture next month that will provide South Wales Police with a major headache.

It is understood Cardiff fans will be allowed to attend the game, but only in a “bubble” – meaning they must travel on organised coaches and be escorted into the ground by a convoy of police vehicles, horses and hundreds of police officers.

Top cops have spent months planning how to manage this season’s two Coca Cola Championship meetings between the teams, but officers now have just three weeks to put in place arrangements that will prevent trouble at the cup tie. The round takes place the week starting September 22.

The policing bill is likely to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds as officers bid to prevent the sort of trouble which has marred previous derby matches and yesterday’s away match between Cardiff and Sheffield United.

Four Bluebirds fans were arrested last night after supporters clashed over missiles thrown at a coach carrying Cardiff City fans.

The coach was packed with fans leaving Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane stadium following the teams’ 0-0 draw when Blades supporters allegedly began throwing bottles, cans and a brick at the Welsh vehicle.

Some away fans were injured by flying glass, causing Cardiff supporters to chase the Sheffield hooligans.

South Yorkshire Police said they were expecting to make more arrests.

Cardiff City’s stadium manager, Wayne Nash, said: “The club deplores any disorder at football matches.”

Despite the potential for trouble, supporters from both clubs are looking forward to the derbies.

Just after noon on live television, ex-West Ham United striker Tony Cottee pulled number 29, Swansea, from the home hat and Swans fans held their breath to hear who they would host.

Seconds later former Liverpool legend Phil Thompson drew number six, Cardiff City, from the away hat, and football fans across South Wales began celebrating their dream tie.

Vince Alm of Cardiff City Supporters’ Club said last night: “It’s an interesting draw! I’ve been to loads of derbies but it will be a new experience for the younger generation.

“Football is all about passion, not prawn sandwiches. It will be great occasion for both sides and their supporters.”

Mr Alm said he would rather face the Swans than Premiership big guns such as Chelsea, Manchester United or Arsenal. “I would prefer a local derby, there will be a great atmosphere.

“We went to Liverpool in the League Cup last season and it was dead,” he added.

“We haven’t played Swansea for a few seasons so it will be great to have the chance to earn the bragging rights up for grabs.

“But most of all we will have a good football match between two teams that like to play football.”

He dubbed this season’s trio of matches between the rivals “a mini series”, adding: “This ticks all the boxes.” He also said the policing of football in South Wales was now good enough to prevent a repeat of the trouble which has plagued previous derby fixtures.

Ugo Vallario, of Swansea City Supporters’ Club, welcomed the home tie.

He said: “I’m happy enough with the home draw, but I wanted us to get a big Premiership club.

“When Cardiff came out, I thought: ‘Typical!’ Saying that, I’m not too disappointed with playing Cardiff and it will be good to renew rivalries on the pitch.

“The league matches will have more importance than the cup game. But it should still be a great occasion.”

The Swans hold the upper hand in head-to-head clashes between the sides, with 21 wins against Cardiff’s 18. There have been 14 draws, but the Bluebirds have won both the teams’ only clashes in the League Cup.

The last time the sides met in a league fixture was in April, 1999, when they drew 0-0 at Ninian Park.

Martinez’ plea for peace: Back Page

Latest Threads