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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 23:32 GMT

UK: Scotland

Extra time in soccer arrest hearings

The cases were heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court

A court was forced to go into marathon session to deal with people arrested in connection with Saturday's Euro 2000 clash between Scotland and England.

Glasgow Sheriff Court was inundated with 170 cases of people who were arrested before, during after the Hampden Park game.

Hearings in two courts at the complex began 90 minutes late but had to be stopped in one of the courts a short time later as confusion reigned.

[ image: A man is arrested in Glasgow]
A man is arrested in Glasgow
Lawyers could not be found to represent four men from England who had been arrested over the weekend and Sheriff James Taylor adjourned the court to "bring some order to the situation".

A third court was brought into use in the early evening as the number of accused still to be dealt with became apparent and proceedings did not finish until 2200GMT.

The first six men to appear in court all pleaded guilty to breach of the peace and were bailed to appear again on 9 February.

However, the majority facing charges pleaded not guilty and trial dates were set.

Despite a total of 170 arrests, Strathclyde Police said it was pleased with its arrangements for Saturday's game.

The force said violence erupted in isolated incidents and officers responded rapidly.

Attention will now turn to the second leg of the match at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday evening, with the Metropolitan Police expressing equal confidence in its policing arrangements.

[ image: Michael Todd: Expressed confidence]
Michael Todd: Expressed confidence
Deputy assistant commissioner Michael Todd said: "Our entire strategy is to make sure we have enough officers to nip trouble in the bud.

"But I think you have to accept, unfortunately, that there will be some arrests. There will always be a very small minority who will want to get drunk and cause problems."

Martin Corrie, of Wembley Stadium, said officials would aim to repeat the success of stewarding arrangements put in place when the two sides met at Wembley during Euro 96.

He said: "I think if you look at the statistics for the game itself on Saturday, things went very, very well at the ground and our benchmark is Euro 96 which went like a dream.

"We're looking for another carnival atmosphere at Wembley."

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