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Friday, 23 June, 2000, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
England booted out - again
England fans
Fans are to blame as England are dumped
England have been booted out Uefa's Fair Play League at Euro 2000 following the poor behaviour of their fans.

Kevin Keegan's men were shown the red card along with Turkey.

More than 900 English fans were arrested during England's nine-day involvement at the championships, while Turkey supporters were involved in trouble in Brussels after beating Belgium on Monday.

Now both national teams have paid the price by being excluded from Uefa's league of good conduct, despite the Turks having reached the quarter-finals for the first time.

Ugly

A Uefa statement read: "In the wake of the street violence which left an ugly stain on the group phase of the tournament, Uefa have decided to withdraw England and Turkey from the Fair Play ranking."

European football's governing body have urged British authorities to stamp out the root causes of hooliganism.


Fair Play League
1 France 8.17pts
2 Portugal 8.00
3 Spain 7.92
4 Holland 7.83
5 Italy 7.75
6 Sweden 7.67
7 Denmark, Romania, Slovenia all 7.58
10 Belgium 7.50
11 Germany 7.42
12 Norway 7.17
13 Czech Rep 6.92
14 Yugoslavia 5.75

Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner warned: "We need to stop this in the future, we need to take some measures to avoid this. There have been too many incidents in the recent past.

"There is the same pattern of people coming without tickets and we have to do something about it otherwise it spoils the game and we don't want that to happen, it ruins the image of football."

Some England fans claimed Turks were to blame to for sparking trouble in Brussels and Charleroi.

There has been bad feeling between the two countries' supporters since two Leeds fans were stabbed to death in Istanbul in April before their club's Uefa Cup tie with Galatasaray.

There was also trouble in Copenhagen before the Uefa Cup final in which Galatasaray played Arsenal.


Gerhard Aigner
Aigner has come down hard
But although Uefa threatened to kick England out of Euro 2000 if there was any more trouble, no such threats have been made to Turkey.

Aigner added: "It's too easy to put the blame on the Turks. They react when they are provoked, it's clear, and they are also, of course, people who are impulsive.

"But they don't drink and they are not rioting as such, they are not having mass movements of people as we fear and they do not travel to matches without tickets."

Uefa are set to meet the Football Association to discuss safeguards against hooligans being put into place by English soccer's governing body and the British government.

Hopeful

As to whether the problems will affect England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup, Aigner was just hopeful the tournament would be in Europe.

"Hopefully by that time the methods that are being put in place will control the problem, also for our competitions which are our major concern."

"When it comes to the World Cup, those who have to decide will have to decide on technical matters. We hope it comes to Europe."


Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia are bottom of the table
Yugoslavia remain in the Fair Play league despite the actions of some of their supporters and the team having a man sent off in each of their games at Euro 2000 so far.

During the 4-3 defeat against Spain on Wednesday two Yugoslav fans invaded the pitch in separate incidents to confront referee Gilles Veissiere.

They were dragged away by players, but the French official was cut above the eye by a coin thrown from the crowd after the final whistle.

France lead the Fair Play league after the group phase of the competition, with fellow quarter-finalists Portugal second and Spain, Holland and Italy completing the top five.

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See also:

22 Jun 00 | Yugoslavia
Ref vilified by Yugoslavs
22 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Hague offers help on hooligans
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