Where rival jerseys are inadmissible

OTTAWA: Imagine if Manchester United banned Arsenal shirts from Old Trafford, or the Boston Red Sox barred Yankees caps from Fenway Park. 

Ottawa city councillors, keen to boost their local Senators NHL ice hockey team, are proposing to ban fans of their hated rival Toronto Maple Leafs from wearing replica team sweaters at games here. 

The tongue-in-cheek measure, due to go to a vote next week, could force any Leafs fans who transgress to make a donation to a local food bank. 

“It's offensive to (have) a bunch of people walking around with Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys when civic pride is on the line,” city councillor Rick Chiarelli told CBC. 

But the move didn't go down well with the Leafs. 

“You'd think they could concentrate on better things, like trying to help people have a better life,” Toronto forward Alexander Mogilny told reporters on Thursday. 

Games between the two rivals, known as the “Battle of Ontario” typically degenerate into ugly affairs, marred by fistfights and injuries, sparking a raucous crowd reaction. 

Leafs fans travel in droves to Ottawa for the games, and attempt to drown out the home team fans. The next game at Ottawa is on April 3. – AFP 

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