A bizarre incident stopped play for five minutes during the Manchester City-Everton game on Tuesday, after police were forced to deal with a protester, who handcuffed himself to a goalpost. The Telegraph reports a 46-year-old ran onto the field and used handcuffs to secure himself to a goalpost at Everton's Goodison Park.
He was charged and will appear at Liverpool City Magistrates Court on Feb. 17 after being released on bail.
Police had to use bolt-cutters to detach the man's handcuffs from the post. After a rule set in 1991 under the Football Offences Act, "going on to the playing area during a football match" was deemed an offense.
According to a statement released by Everton FC on Wednesday, the fan is "known as a professional protester." He was protesting Ryanair's recruitment policy, according to Merseyside Police.
The statement also said, "Bolt-cutters were used to remove the offender, who was roundly booed as he was escorted from the ground … He was arrested by Merseyside Police, who are now dealing with the matter."
Everton went on to defeat City 1-0, with Darron Gibson's 60th minute goal — his first since moving to Everton from Manchester United — proving to be the winner. Gibson's goal helped Manchester United move up and join its cross-town rival at the top of the Premier League table. Though level on points, City holds the edge because it has a better goal differential.
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