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David Davies
"There are no excuses and we condemn those involved"
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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
FA condemns Uefa Cup violence
David Davies apologises for the violence
The Football Association has apologised for the violence which plagued Wednesday's Uefa Cup final between Arsenal and Galatasaray in Copenhagen.

Forty-three people were arrested and five were taken to hospital after fans clashed in the centre of the city before the match.

The violence followed the stabbing of an Arsenal fan on Tuesday evening.

We apologise to the Danes for what happened in Copenhagen in recent days

FA chief executive David Davies
The game, which saw Galatasaray become the first Turkish club to claim a European prize after a 4-1 penalty victory, took place without incident.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, FA chief executive David Davies said his organisation would co-operate fully with Uefa's investigation into the trouble.

"We apologise to the Danes for what happened in Copenhagen in recent days," Davies said.

"Before this week it was hard to recall the last time Arsenal fans had been linked to disturbance abroad.

"Until Istanbul more English teams have played more games in Europe than ever before without any incidents.

"They deserve apologies from ourselves and the Turks. There are no excuses. We condemn those involved, Turkish and English.

"Arsenal have already said they will impose life bans on those involved."

World Cup bid safe

Davies insisted the violence would not damage England's bid to host the World Cup in 2006, however.

""The decision on 2006 will be about which country has the best facilities, the best infrastructure, the best grounds," he said.

Referring to the violence, he said: "It's unhelpful, but I don't believe it will be absolutely fundamental to the taking of that (the World Cup 2006) decision."

Galatasaray are the first Turkish club to claim a European prize
Davies said as Euro 2000 draws closer the FA would be discussing with its security advisers whether any more could be done to ensure the safety and security of fans travelling to Belgium and Holland.

He added that a meeting with the Turkish FA had been brought forward following the trouble.

"They need to understand much more clearly our concerns ahead of the next time English and Turkish teams travel to each others' countries," he said.

"We will play a full part in restoring the relationship between England and Turkey.

"It's absolutely essential that the meeting we have with the Turkish FA is full and frank and I think that it is in everyone's interests.

"We do want to restore the normal relationship between two footballing nations, England and Turkey and that's what we will set out to do. That meeting will take place in a few weeks. They are very keen that it takes place."

Mr Davies said all the lessons learnt from this season would be passed on to Uefa.

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17 May 00 | Football
Penalty heartbreak for Arsenal
17 May 00 | Football
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