POLICE have banned scores of Black Cat fans from this weekend’s derby game with Newcastle United.
In a bid to stop violent clashes, 54 supporters have been prevented from attending St James’s Park on Sunday.
Northumbria Police confirmed the Black Cats fans were all subject to football banning orders.
Officers have also warned that action will be taken against anyone attending the game who makes fascist salutes following the controversy surrounding the appointment of Paolo Di Canio.
It comes after concerns that Newcastle fans are planning to use the right-wing salute to taunt SAFC supporters.
Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, Operations Commander for the match, said: “Offensive gestures, particularly those with a suggestion of racist connotations, are completely unacceptable and we will take positive action against anyone seen acting in an offensive or racist manner.
“While some individuals may see this sort of behaviour as a means of poking fun at opposing fans – it’s not a joke.
“Offensive behaviour can constitute a criminal offence and such behaviour is taken seriously.”
Fans have also been warned that their behaviour at the match will be recorded on CCTV and offenders could face being banned from future games.
Chief Supt Neill added: “Football matches are routinely monitored by CCTV, and even if action is not taken during the match, it can be checked retrospectively and we have demonstrated on numerous previous occasions our ability to trace offenders and put them before the courts, which can lead to a criminal record and possible football banning order. I would urge fans to act responsibly and reflect upon the impact any form of disorder or offensive behaviour has on others, themselves, the reputation of both clubs and the North East.”
A father and son have been banned from entering any Premier League football ground for six months after being convicted of throwing missiles at the Sunderland v Newcastle game on October 21, 2012,
Two Newcastle fans have also been banned from Sunday’s game after appearing before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
David Richardson, 47, of Inglewood Close in Blyth, and David Richardson, 26, of Deneview Drive in Cowpen, Blyth, were arrested on December 13 and charged with criminal damage and throwing missiles at the last derby game at the Stadium of Light in October.
The charges came after an incident during the game where seats were damaged and thrown in the Upper North Stand.
The two Newcastle United fans pleaded guilty to throwing missiles at a designated football match and were handed six-month banning orders stopping them from entering any Premier League football ground this year.