Manchester United's vast memorial to mark the 50th anniversary of the Munich disaster has been attacked with paint bombs.
"A couple of vandals chucked a couple of paint bombs at the Munich tribute during the night and should be condemned for what they did," United spokesman Phil Townsend told The Associated Press. "I didn't think anybody would be so disreputable to do that."
Security will be increased before the Feb. 6 anniversary service at Old Trafford and the match against crosstown rival Manchester City four days later.
The paint, which was removed from the side of the east stand early Tuesday, hit the logo of United's jersey sponsors, the New York-based global insurance company American International Group Inc.
AIG's presence on the tribute commemorating the Munich victims has enraged some United fans since it was erected last week.
"It is not an advert," Townsend said. "We are entirely comfortable that a key partner involved in the club would want to pay respects to the team on such an important anniversary."
Along with the eight "Busby Babes" killed as the team returned after playing Red Star Belgrade, 15 other people died as the plane crashed on its third attempt to take off from a slush-covered runway in Munich, Germany.
The damage to the poster is the latest controversy to overshadow preparations for the anniversary, with fears that the planned moment of silence before the Manchester derby will be disrupted by City supporters.