FOOTBALL clubs and emergency services have united to send a strong message to fans who resort to violence during the World Cup.

Blackburn Rovers and Burnley FC have pledged to stand together against domestic abuse, after it was revealed reported incidents rose by around 25 per cent during England games at the 2010 World Cup.

Offenders are being warned to ‘leave the striking to the players’ as part of the campaign designed to address traditional spikes in crime during major football tournaments.

The Ugly Consequences of the Beautiful Game campaign has been developed by Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire Constabulary and the county's fire service on behalf of the Safer Lancashire communications network.

Mr Grunshaw said: “Residents across the county will be coming together to watch the World Cup this summer, and it should be a time for fun and celebration. But unfortunately, experience tells us the tournament is also likely to be a time for excessive drinking — which can have devastating consequences.”

Over the next six weeks, billboards will be appearing in Blackburn warning domestic abuse offenders, while bus shelter adverts will urge victims, friends and family to ‘blow the whistle on domestic abuse’.