United’s Rio Ferdinand hurt by coin thrown from crowd

Rio Ferdinand was left with a head wound after apparently being struck by a coin during his team’s match at Manchester City.

The Manchester United centre-half was celebrating Robin van Persie’s late winner but was left with a gash above his eye after the incident.

The man was then taken away by police officers.

An FA spokesman said it would liaise with Greater Manchester Police and await reports from its crowd control adviser and the match referee.

The Football Association said it had opened an investigation and will liaise with Greater Manchester Police regarding the incident, while City condemned it and apologised to the player.

A Manchester City statement read: “We apologise to Rio. We condemn the actions of the individual concerned.

“We are reviewing the CCTV with the police and our normal security. We will support the police with any investigation and hopefully identify the person as soon as possible.”

An FA spokesman said: “It is disappointing that after a great game and advert for the Premier League that we are discussing this issue.

“We will work with the clubs and authorities to identify those responsible and support the strongest sanctions available, including life bans.

“We condemn any such acts and it is simply unacceptable that any player is exposed to injury in this way. To witness Rio Ferdinand leaving the field with a cut above his eye to receive treatment is appalling.

Ferdinand was left with blood running down his face after the incident, and he appeared to pick up an object which he later showed to referee Martin Atkinson as he left the pitch.

Ferdinand tweeted that he was hit by a 2p coin.

He tweeted: “Whoever threw that coin, what a shot! Can’t believe it was a copper 2p… could have at least been a £1 coin!”

Soon after the coin incident a Manchester City fan ran on to the field towards Ferdinand, but was stopped by Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart before he could reach the defender.

In another tweet, referring to Hart stepping in to the fray, Ferdinand added: “Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far…calm it!”

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson condemned the ugly denouement.

“We were very determined to win but it’s unfortunate toward the end that the City fan runs on and throws coins at our players. I don’t think you need that,” he said.

Greater Manchester Police also revealed that in an unrelated incident, police arrested a man on suspicion of committing a racially aggravated public order offence during the game.

The man was held after officers reported hearing racist chanting from the crowd.