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Tuesday, October 13, 1998 Published at 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK

Sport: Football

'Drunk' England fans ordered home

England violence at France 98 has put police on alert

Twenty-five England football fans are to be deported from Belgium, a National Criminal Intelligence Service spokesman has confirmed.

The fans were detained in Brussels on their way to Luxembourg for Wednesday's Euro 2000 qualifying match.

But they will not be sent back to Manchester until Wednesday because six of them are too drunk to fly, according to a Belgian police spokesman.

He said: "They were arrested because they were drunk and a menace to the public order. They are sobering up at the moment at a transit area at the airport in Brussels.

"They came on a plane from Manchester and they are going back to Manchester. They came first in a group of six and then a group of 19 on two separate flights which landed in the morning and afternoon."

Fans 'arrested before'

Of those being returned to Manchester it is believed that some had been arrested during England's recent match against Sweden in Stockholm and others had been detained and deported during violence at the World Cup.

"The decision to deport them is at the discretion of the Belgian police," said an NCIS spokesman.

NCIS officers, who are already in place for the match, expect about 2,700 fans to travel to Luxembourg.

England supporters have been given 2,500 tickets in the 8,000-capacity stadium but at least 200 more could also go in the hope of buying tickets outside the ground.

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