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The BBC's Paul Newman
"The debate about who is to blame is still going on"
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The BBC's Kevin Geary
"What Europeans call the English disease is still a malevolent presence"
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Hans Van Den Oord, Euro 2000 Eindhoven Co-Ordinator
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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Soccer violence clouds Euro 2000
British fans return
British fans return from Copenhagen
One of the co-hosts of next month's Euro 2000 soccer championships has reacted with alarm to the vicious pre-match violence that marred Wednesday's Uefa Cup Final in Copenhagen.

Holland's Interior Ministry spokesman Harald Hameleers said his country had been shocked at pictures of fighting between English and Turkish fans.

In total 19 people were hurt - five seriously - and 64 fans were arrested, 19 of them British.

We were shocked at the pictures. It shows we will have to be very alert

Dutch Interior Ministry spokesman Harald Hameleers
The Dutch response follows a threat from the president of Uefa, European football's governing body, that tough sanctions might be applied against the Turkish and English football associations, once an investigation into the trouble is complete.

Mr Hameleers said that Dutch police officers had attended the Arsenal-Galatasary fixture - which the Turkish side won on penalties after a 0-0 draw - and would brief senior colleagues on their return.

"It shows we will have to be very alert," he said.

The tournament's other co-hosts, Belgium, appeared less concerned about the prospects of hooliganism.

"We have done a lot to make sure Euro 2000 is safe. What happened in Copenhagen is a pity of course, but we are not nervous because of it," said Belgian Interior Ministry spokesman Lieven Van Mele.

Security fears

With the opening games of Euro 2000 just three weeks away, Uefa will be rechecking plans for security following Wednesday's ugly scenes.

Copenhagen's normally peaceful pavement cafes and bars witnessed ugly scenes
Chairs were used as makeshift weapons
The BBC's correspondent in Turkey said Uefa would have to take into account the large Turkish populations in both Holland and Germany when considering security arrangements at matches.

The English Football Association has pledged to redouble efforts to ensure England's part in Euro 2000 passes off as peacefully as possible - especially as it is bidding to host the 2006 World Cup.

The FA's executive director, David Davies, said he was "disappointed" by the outbreak of violence and offered an apology to the people of the Danish capital.

He added that he was bringing forward a meeting with the Turkish FA and would co-operate fully with the Uefa investigation.

But Mr Davies was adamant that England's World Cup bid would not be harmed by the incident.


Trouble flared on Tuesday night when Arsenal fan Paul Dineen, 41, was stabbed in the back.

Four fans were stabbed but others were less badly hurt
There were many minor injuries alongside the serious ones
Then late on Wednesday afternoon, rival fans clashed in the city centre and what began as skirmishes quickly descended into running street battles.

Three more male fans were stabbed - one British, one Turkish and one Dutch - and another Briton was beaten with an iron bar.

Police in riot gear used tear gas to break up the fighting and the fans dispersed.

A BBC correspondent described the scenes as "anarchy" and Copenhagen's head of police said he had "never seen anything like this" in the city.

When the game ended, Galatasaray fans - including those from Turkish communities in Denmark and Germany - took to the streets in a celebratory cavalcade.

The English supporters kept a low profile and police made sure the two groups were separated. By the early hours of the morning the city was quiet.


Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein said the violence had to be seen in context.

"Bearing in mind there were 40,000 people in the stadium, probably those involved in any of the disturbances were not more than 100 or maybe 200 as a maximum."

He warned that if any Arsenal fans were identified as being among the trouble makers the club would do its best to exclude them.

Tension between English and Turkish fans has been growing since last month, when two Leeds United supporters were killed in Istanbul before the semi-final.

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See also:

15 May 00 | Fans Guide
Hooligan threat to 2006 bid
17 May 00 | Football
Penalty heartbreak for Arsenal
18 May 00 | Europe
Turkish delight
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