Sheffield United fan banned from games for injuring pensioner in clash with rival supporters

A Sheffield United fan admitted assault
A Sheffield United fan admitted assault
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A Sheffield United fan has been banned from games for three years over a clash with rival supporters during which a pensioner was hurt.

Zakaria Khalifa, aged 18, was among a group Sheffield United fans involved in a clash with Derby County fans at Leeds train station on Saturday, October 22 last year.

The two groups of fans initially goaded and squared up to each other when they met on the over bridge at the station.

During the melee Khalifa punched a Derby fan in the face.

When he tried to move out of the way to avoid the fan’s retaliation, he ran into the 70-year-old victim and struck him in the face with the back of his head.

The victim, who is from Leeds and was returning from an afternoon out in Manchester, was taken to hospital for treatment.

Khalifa, of Greasbro Road, Tinsley, was arrested and sentenced after pleading guilty to assault.

In addition to the banning order, Khalifa was handed a six week curfew and ordered to pay £170 in costs.

Detective Inspector Mick Dawes said: “CCTV footage clearly shows Khalifa central to instigating the fight on the overbridge that day.

“During the melee he injured an elderly man who was returning home and passing through the station, leaving him with facial injuries. Not only that but other passengers were left extremely alarmed and distressed by his actions and the completely unacceptable behaviour of other members of the group involved.

“The vast majority of football fans are well-behaved but Khalifa was part of a very small minority who sadly don’t go to matches to enjoy the match but attend with more sinister and dangerous intentions.

“We are committed to protecting the travelling public from this kind of mindless behaviour and would ask that anyone who witnesses it contact us."