YOBS on the hunt for trouble during Sunderland AFC’s pre-season tour of Germany are being warned not to follow the Lads abroad.
Black Cats fans are gearing up to travel across Europe to watch their team take on Hannover and Borussia Monchengladbach in two friendly fixtures, and Northumbria Police are working hard to make sure violence does not spoil the matches later this month.
Officers said they are prepared to take tough action against offenders – and warned convicted hooligans not to make the trip.
As part of the operation to stamp out football-related trouble, undercover officers will be travelling with fans in a bid to catch anyone trying to break the law.
Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey said: “Football banning orders are there to prevent those intent on causing violence or disorder from attending matches, meaning that genuine fans can go to a game and watch it safely.
“We want people to be able to enjoy the sport rather than worry about the behaviour of the person sitting next to them in the stands.
“Banning orders are an effective tool we can use to help us do this.
“We will continue to enforce them, as well as seeing new ones where the evidence supports such action.”
In April, fouth-mouthed Black Cats fan Mark Mann was banned from watching Sunderland and England play after hurling abuse at manager Steve Bruce during last year’s pre-season.
Mann, 24, of Seafields, Seaburn, was hit with a three-year football banning order for his behaviour, including an incident at a friendly against Brighton, in Portugal.
Booze-fuelled Mann repeatedly shouted and swore at the Sunderland boss.
The order means that as well as missing matches, Mann can no longer go into licensed premises surrounding the Stadium of Light four hours before or after kick-off at a Sunderland home game.
He is also banned from going within five miles of a stadium where a Sunderland away or England match is being played.