Eric Cantona Mask Tribute by Manchester United Fans Set to Rile Crystal Palace

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Eric Cantona Mask Tribute by Manchester United Fans Set to Rile Crystal Palace
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Crystal Palace fans have reacted angrily to plans by some Manchester United supporters to wear Eric Cantona masks in tribute to the club icon when the sides clash in London this weekend.

Cantona is, of course, a hero at Old Trafford but is remembered at Selhurst Park for the extraordinary kung fu assault of a fan in the crowd in 1995.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Cantona was suspended for most of the year and had to perform community service after the incident.

Perhaps understandably, then, the plans tweeted by fans' group Stretford End Flags caused a stir: 

The main concern behind the insensitivity relates to the death of a fan. United and Palace were later that season drawn in the FA Cup semi-final. Violence broke out between the two sets of fans before the match, and a Palace supporter by the name of Paul Nixon died.

Although they were two separate incidents, the bad blood between the sides began with the Cantona incident.

Palace fanzine Five-Year Plan summed up the ill feeling: 

According to a report by Paul Collins in the Daily Mail, United fans wearing Cantona masks when the sides last clashed in 2005 were refused entry.

That said, some fans were arguing that they don't see what the fuss is about:

Palace host United in the Saturday evening match at 5:30 p.m.

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