Hampshire Police on possibility of Southampton v Portsmouth return

With plenty to play for in the final four games of Southampton’s first Championship season since being relegated from the Premier League, and Portsmouth clinching the League One title on Tuesday night to secure a return to the second tier, the possibility remains that the arch rivals could be set to meet in the league for the first time since 2012.

The last time the sides went head-to-head was in the League Cup in 2019, when seven men were jailed for a combined total of 12 years after a “large scale disorder”.

When asked about the prospect of another face off between the two clubs, Southampton’s Chief Inspector, Marcus Kennedy, told the Echo: “Previous years we planned with the two clubs and mitigated the risks really well.

“We have done this over the years, and should it happen again in future we will continue to do so.”

Speaking on Monday, he said: “For now, we have to wait and see on the premise that Portsmouth have not yet been promoted – although there is a good chance.

“Southampton do have a reasonable chance of going up as well. Once we know then we start to address the situation.”

Since 2003, Southampton and Portsmouth have gone head-to-head nine times, with Portsmouth winning three, Saints winning four and two games resulting in a draw.

In 2004, 94 Saints and Pompey fans were arrested as violence broke out after the game. A 14-year-old girl became the youngest ever female to be banned from football matches, whilst a 10-year-old boy from Gosport was also slapped with a three-year ban for violent conduct.

Ch Insp Kennedy continued: “Let’s see what happens at the end of the season. We have a few games left in the Championship – we can only speculate for now.”

The clubs rivalry can also be traced through history. In 1984, the clubs met at Fratton Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup – their first clash for 78 years.

During the FA Cup game, £20,000 of damage was caused after the match and 18 people taken to hospital.

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