Swansea City fans to be bused directly to and from the Cardiff ground
SUNDAY'S eagerly anticipated South Wales football derby has been declared a "bubble match" because of the risk of trouble off the pitch.
The designation means Swans fans attending the game will be bused directly to and from the Cardiff ground rather being allowed to make their own travel arrangements.
The coaches are being provided free by the club.
Bubble matches and restrictions on fans are used in extreme cases where clubs and police fear disorder — and Swansea against Cardiff games have a troubled past.
Police are keeping tight-lipped about their plans for the big day but it is understood a major operation is being put in place which will include ensuring the match-day buses have a safe journey down the M4 to the capital.
South Wales Police superintendent Tony Smith, who will be match commander for the event, said: "South Wales Police is accustomed to policing large sporting events as a result of hosting the Wembley fixtures for six years and two Premier League seasons in Swansea.
"We work closely with clubs to develop policing arrangements for all fixtures throughout the season. As always, we want the focus ahead of the game to be on the football not the policing of the event. It is going to be a great occasion for South Wales and we hope the fans have a safe and enjoyable day."
British Transport Police — the force responsible for public safety on the railway network — has been less reticent about their plans for match day.
The force has said it will be deploying officers to all stations between Carmarthen and Cardiff, as well as having uniformed and plain-clothed officers on trains through South Wales — many wearing body cameras to record what is happening.
Earlier this month the chairmen of the Swansea and Cardiff's supporters trusts organisations teamed-up to urge both sets of fans to behave.
Phil Sumbler, chairman of Swansea City Supporters' Trust, said: "It will be a passionate and noisy encounter and a chance for fans on both sides to showcase what is best about South Wales's two Premier League clubs.
"It is important to ensure all post-match discussions are about the action on the football pitch and I hope all in the stadium enjoy what will be a fantastic occasion."
Tim Hartley from the Cardiff trust urged fans to support their respective teams but to ensure at all times it is done "in the right way".