Police respond to claims of 'pepper spray' being used on Wigan and Preston fans

Video from Twitter

Police have been accused of using pepper spray during disorder between rival fans at the opening game of the Championship football season.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has responded to the claims disorder between rival fans after the Wigan Athletic v Preston North End derby at the DW stadium.

The match ended in a goalless draw, with Preston being reduced to 10-men after Ched Evans was sent-off in the 80th minutes.

Videos have been circulated on social media which shows trouble flaring on the bridge near the stadium on Saturday 30 July.

It shows a line of police officers in the crowd, followed by a number of members of the crowd walking away and rubbing their eyes.

GMP gave ITV News a statement, where it said: "We are aware of a video showing our officers responding to some disorder between fans after the Wigan Athletic game against Preston North End.

"This clip is a snapshot of events and shows trained officers using tactics to manage a challenging situation.

"It is too early to know the full context at this time and - as with any event - it will be part of our wider debrief of the day’s operation."

Trouble flared near the bridge outside the DW Stadium Credit: Twitter

One man who was there and filmed some of the disorder told ITV News: "Just to say the video starts after both sets of fans began throwing punches and kicks at each other, the police didn't just pile in and start spraying for no reason".

PAVA spray is approved for police and prison service use in the United Kingdom.

It is an incapacitant spray similar to pepper spray and is dispensed from a handheld canister, in a liquid stream.

It is namely to minimise a person's capacity for resistance, without unnecessarily prolonging their discomfort.

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