While Tongan fans were trying to contain the frustration they had after last night’s semi final result, which appeared to have been stifled by atrocious refereeing, Counties Manukau Police have applauded their behaviour.
Police said the atmosphere fans created during the historic game at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium made it a match to remember for all involved.
Match operation commander Inspector Peter Gibson said it had been great to see the passion of the Tongan fans, who made up the vast majority of the crowd and never lost hope in their team.
“This match was really enjoyable to police,” he said.
The crowd were very vocal and their singing and cheering created real excitement for both teams to enjoy.
It was a pulsating match and an intense atmosphere.
“After the game, the Tongan fans were still smiling and shaking hands with the English fans, which was really pleasing to see.”
Mr Gibson said Police made no arrests at the match.
Eighteen people were evicted for intoxication or disorder.
Police said they carried out a significant operation in Ōtāhuhu Town Centre and the surrounding areas yesterday evening.
This was to ensure the safety of the community following last night’s league match at Mt Smart Stadium.
A number of roads were closed around Ōtāhuhu Town Centre to manage congestion and to keep pedestrians safe.
Inspector Wendy Spiller said overall Police are happy with the behaviour by members of the public following the game.
Inspector Spiller said a significant amount of additional staff were deployed around South Auckland and this greatly assisted in ensuring the celebrations ran smoothly.
Police made 21 arrests throughout the evening following disorder-related offences.
“We were disappointed that a person smashed the window of a Police patrol vehicle on Rockfield Road in Penrose at approximately 10.15pm.
Police were unable to immediately identify who smashed the window but enquiries are ongoing,” says Inspector Spiller.
Inspector Spiller said it was a busy evening with thousands of supporters out on the streets.
“It’s been great to see the passion from Tongan supporters during the tournament and we are pleased that the majority of supporters behaved appropriately.
“It’s unfortunate that a small number of people threatened to spoil the occasion, however police took a zero-tolerance approach and ensured they were arrested quickly and removed from the area.”
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