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Everton fan sanctioned over disgraceful Munich air disaster chants at Old Trafford

Everton fan sanctioned over disgraceful Munich Air disaster chants at Old Trafford

An Everton supporter has been banned from attending football matches for the next three years after making a gesture mocking the tragic Munich air disaster during a game against Manchester United back in March.

Manchester Evening News reports that the fan, identified as Mark Finnigan, was spotted by a police officer turning towards the home crowd and making a hand gesture interpreted as referencing the 1958 crash. 

The Munich air disaster remains a deeply emotional event for Man Utd and the wider football community. 

The tragedy claimed the lives of 23 people, including eight Man Utd players, three members of staff, and eight sports journalists. The plane crashed on take-off in Munich due to terrible weather conditions.

The tragedy chant occurred after Man Utd were awarded their second penalty of the first half in the 2-0 win over Everton.

Following the incident, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that Finnigan was removed from the stadium and arrested on suspicion of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm, or distress. 

Earlier today, he pleaded guilty to the charge at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West John Moran subsequently condemned the actions of the 24-year-old.

“Tragedy-related abuse is never acceptable and has a profound impact on fans and families who have been bereaved,” Moran said.

“Mark Finnigan’s offensive gesture – made in full view of home and away fans – has landed him a football banning order, stopping him from watching the sport he loves.”

In addition to a stadium ban, Finnigan was ordered to pay a victim surcharge and prosecution costs, along with a six-month conditional discharge.

Meanwhile, Everton are still in the relegation dogfight, but their quest to maintain top-flight status was dealt another huge blow courtesy of an additional two-point deduction for breaching financial rules.

However, they remain two points above the drop zone with a game in hand and will fancy their chances of staying up, especially with a specialist like Sean Dyche at the helm.

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