Liverpool supporters who are planning to welcome the team bus prior to their Champions League quarter-final tie with Manchester City have been warned that they may face prosecution should they use pyrotechnics or smoke bombs.
Despite similar welcomes to games in the past, particularly during the Red’s Europa League run during 2016 and their title challenge of 2014, Manchester City had expressed concerns surrounding pyrotechnics, which are prohibited under UK law.
Liverpool fans had wanted to create an atmosphere to “show them exactly what money can’t buy”, but are now being warned that doing so could have implications.
Kick-off on April 4, when City come to Anfield, is at 19:45, with fans using social media to organise a team bus welcome at around 17:30 along Anfield Road, when the teams arrive.
Fans want to line the streets to create an atmosphere worthy of a European night, on what will be the club’s first quarter-final in that competition since 2009, when they were eliminated by Chelsea 7-5 on aggregate.
A statement from Merseyside police on Tuesday said: “We are aware that fans have indicated they plan to gather ahead of the Champions League match to be played on 4 April 2018 between Liverpool and Manchester City.
"Merseyside Police will have a comprehensive policing operation in place, alongside Liverpool Football Club, in preparation for the fixture. As with any match, we have worked to ensure that this game can be enjoyed by all in a safe environment, as well as minimising any disruption on the roads.”
It goes on to express concerns over the safety of fans should the pyrotechnics be used, with supporter wellbeing at the top of any agenda.
The statement continued: "There will be additional officers on duty at the ground and we will have a city centre policing plan in place throughout the day, to further ensure that spectators and visitors to the city are kept safe and to smoothly facilitate the movements of those travelling to and from the game.
"While recognising that some supporters feel they can add to the atmosphere of the occasion, the use of flares and other pyrotechnics at and around football matches is a concern.
“We fully support the club in working to eradicate this dangerous and reckless practice and would ask that supporters work with us.”
The statement also reminded fans that the ban on pyrotechnics also applies outside of the stadium, in the streets that surround Anfield.
Whatever the welcome that both team buses get, Anfield is sure to be rocking on the night as Liverpool aim to knock out the only other English team left in Europe’s elite competition.
The second leg of the tie is to take place at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, April 10.