EXCLUSIVE: Football hooligans are planning to ‘team up’ and ‘protect’ the Cenotaph from pro-Palestine protestors… with police fearing more than a thousand will come to London where a rally against war in Gaza is set to take place
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  • Mail Sport understands Met Police have received intelligence over the plans
  • They have drafted in forces from around the UK amid concerns over hooligans 
  • There are concerns Remembrance Day events may be targeted by protests
  • Chris Sutton: ‘How my son nearly died’ – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off podcast 

Gangs of football hooligans are planning to ‘team up’ and ‘protect’ the Cenotaph from pro-Palestine protestors this weekend, with police on high-alert for trouble.

Officers fear more than a thousand, including far-Right thugs, will descent on London, where a rally against Israeli attacks on Gaza is set to take place.

Mail Sport understands that the Met Police have received intelligence to suggest that football fans from clubs across the country are likely to join forces in the capital. They have drafted in officers from forces around the UK amid concerns that the influx of hooligans will add fuel to a tinderbox situation at a time of heightened tensions.

A march calling for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza – which broke out last month after Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 200 hostages – is planned for Remembrance Day on Saturday. 

No protests are planned for Sunday although there are concerns the day’s events may be targeted. Against that backdrop, hooligans from clubs across the country appear to have mobilised.

Gangs of football hooligans are reportedly planning to 'team up' to protect the Cenotaph from pro-Palestine protestors

Gangs of football hooligans are reportedly planning to ‘team up’ to protect the Cenotaph from pro-Palestine protestors

A march calling for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza is planned for Remembrance Day on Saturday

A march calling for a ceasefire in the war in Gaza is planned for Remembrance Day on Saturday

There have been a protests over the last several weeks due to the ongoing conflict

There have been a protests over the last several weeks due to the ongoing conflict

The war in Gaza broke out after Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 200 hostages

The war in Gaza broke out after Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 200 hostages

One group, named 'Football Lads Against Extremism', claims veterans have reached out and asked for their support

One group, named ‘Football Lads Against Extremism’, claims veterans have reached out and asked for their support

One group, named ‘Football Lads Against Extremism’, claims veterans have reached out and asked for their support ‘due to the threat from the far left and pro-Palestine supporters to disrupt the Remembrance Day parade’. They are calling on ‘all football lads up and down the country to join us in standing shoulder to shoulder with our veterans that fought for our freedom’.

The group will gather at Embankment Station from 10am on Sunday before walking to Charing Cross Station ‘to meet up with other firms coming in’. They then plan to walk to Whitehall for the two minute’s silence at 11am. The National Service there will be attended by the King, prime minister, military personnel and war veterans. A procession takes place at 10.50am with the service ending at 11.25am.

This weekend, Arsenal and Crystal Palace are at home on Saturday while West Ham and Chelsea host games on Sunday. Burnley, Everton, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City are their opponents.

On Saturday, a pro-Palestine protest is due to start at 12.45pm at Marble Arch and end at the US embassy in south-west London, around two miles from the Cenotaph. The prime minister’s spokesperson described the planned event, which Met Police may yet try to outlaw, as ‘provocative’ and ‘disrespectful’.

The Met Police declined to comment however, they are understood to be planning accordingly. One source explained: ‘It’s a nightmare weekend. The protest alone is tricky enough but they think gangs of hooligans are going to team up and protect the Cenotaph. They have officers coming in from all across the country to help.’

According to Gaza’s Hamas-controlled health authority, thousands of citizens have been killed in Gaza during Israel’s response to the original attack.

Today, the Daily Mail reported how a 78-year-old poppy seller caught up in a pro-Palestine rally said he was punched and kicked by a mob of protestors while many members of the Jewish community have said they no longer feel safe on the streets of Central London.

In 2017, clashes erupted in Trafalgar Square and at Waterloo Station between far-right yobs and Black Lives Matter supporters who had defied a curfew. Back then, The Democratic Football Lads Alliance, which rallied ‘football lads, patriots, veterans and people who just love their country’, insisted it was not rousing a counter-protest but was instead on a ‘protection mission’.

Arsenal are among the London-based Premier League teams playing at home this weekend

Arsenal are among the London-based Premier League teams playing at home this weekend

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