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Tuesday, 27 June, 2000, 11:00 GMT 12:00 UK
England ban 'not the answer'
English hooligan problems have marred Euro 2000
English hooligan problems have marred Euro 2000
England should not be banned from international competitions as a punishment for their hooligan problems, Uefa believe.

Gerhard Aigner, director general of European football's governing body, said thuggish England fans had put a 'black veil' over what has been a stunning Euro 2000.

But he did not believe banning the national team or domestic English sides was the answer to eradicating hooligan behaviour.

Mr Aigner said he thought Euro 2000 had been an overwhelming success but had been marred by hooliganism incidents in Charleroi before the England versus Germany game when more than 350 so-called 'fans' were arrested and deported.

It will be hard work but we must give ourselves the means of eradicating hooliganism

Gerhard Aigner
It meant Uefa threatened to expel England from the tournament if there was a repeat of the terrible scenes.

But England's early exit ensured there were no further scenes of disorder and Uefa did not have to carry out their threat.


Mr Aigner said: "First I insist on saying loud and clear that we must not exclude English clubs or England international teams because when there is an international competition held in England there is never the slightest problem.

"It's curious, isn't it?

I think rather we must work in depth with the English FA and the British Government.

"It will be hard work but we must give ourselves the means of eradicating hooliganism.

"We can't just continue like that just making idle threats."

Aigner believes banning is not the answer
Aigner believes banning is not the answer
Mr Aigner was delighted with tournament's success but admitted the English fans had brought shame to Euro 2000.

"We Europeans can be proud of the spectacle on show.

"The play is of high quality. At that level I feel great satisfaction like the people in that stadia.

"But as for the rest there is this black veil which was drawn at Charleroi by English fans who had no tickets and were beyond control.

"I did not like that and I can not learn to live with this vision of football."

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Ex-FA boss condemns Uefa action
19 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Hooligans banned for life
17 Jun 00 | England
Fans battle with Belgian police
17 Jun 00 | UK
England fans deported
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