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Senior police officers have condemned the disorder at today’s Middlesbrough vs. Sheffield United game and say that violence in football is completely unacceptable.

Children as young as ten have been injured in the disorder, which began just before the final whistle in the stadium, following a pitch invasion by some away fans.

The violence continued outside the ground in the coach car park, where in excess of 200 people were embroiled in the fighting.

A police officer has been injured and taken to hospital. Five people have been arrested on suspicion of a number of offences and are in police custody; however arrests are expected to increase as the investigation unfolds.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “We will absolutely not tolerate violence of this nature and we will work to identify the offenders and bring them to justice

“The vast majority of fans accept that football is a family game, watched by children, parents and grandparents.

It’s terrifying for children to witness such violence, or be innocently embroiled in it as their parents frantically try to keep them safe.

“Unfortunately a small minority of people behave in a manner which puts innocent fans at risk.

We will be working closely with Middlesbrough Football Club and Sheffield United as part of our investigations.”

Anyone with information, or who may have any images that may help police with their investigations are asked to call Cleveland Police on the non-emergency number 101.

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