Manchester United supporters making the trip to Rotterdam for Thursday’s Europa League group stage opener against Feyenoord have been advised by the club to “maintain a low profile and avoid areas of potential conflict,” and to dress “conservatively.” The message is being interpreted as a request for United fans to avoid wearing team colours for a potentially fiery trip to De Kuip.
Feyenoord are well-known for having some of the more, ahem, ‘active’ supporters in the Netherlands, and there were notable incidents when they went head-to-head with Roma in the knockout stages of this competition last season. Some 23 Feyenoord supporters were arrested before kickoff in Rome, while the second leg was suspended twice with objects — including an inflatable banana, leading to accusations of racism — were hurled from the away end.
It is, then, little surprise United have warned their supporters about getting caught up in similar tension on Thursday. Let’s hope it all passes without event.