Crusaders Football Club has hit out after police searched its Seaview home yesterday.
In a statement published on the club's website on Tuesday afternoon, the north Belfast club said it was 'perturbed' after police carried out a four-hour search at its ground.
"The sole items confiscated were a flag and a baton, both items which had been removed from away fans at a recent NIFL League match as part of routine match-day management," the club's statement read.
"Crusaders FC have sought to make Seaview a welcoming and open venue to all and have no truck with paramilitarism, from whichever quarter. Our members, supporters, staff and players come from all communities."
Yesterday police said detectives from PSNI’s Criminal Investigation Branch carried out seven searches in the Belfast and greater Belfast areas in relation to ongoing investigations into criminal activity linked to north Belfast UVF.
“The searches took place in residential and commercial properties during which three people were arrested," Detective Inspector Heather Whoriskey said.
“A 56-year-old woman and 39-year-old man were arrested in Newtownabbey, and a 56-year-old man was arrested in north Belfast. They have all been taken to Musgrave Serious Crime Suite for further questioning.
Police said the operation demonstrated its commitment to tackling all types of criminality linked to paramilitaries.
"While these searches and arrests focused specifically on the North Belfast UVF, we will continue to target all paramilitary groups and disrupt their illegal activities which only serve to blight the communities they operate in," DI Whoriskey said.