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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Belgian authorities back Charleroi
Charleroi stadium
Tunnel vision: Belgian bosses are backing Charleroi
Belgian authorities have again insisted England's Euro 2000 clash with Germany will not be moved from Charleroi.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter had added his voice to the growing number of critics who have urged tournament chiefs to switch the venue amid concerns about safety inside the small, steep-sided stadium and outside in the city's narrow streets.

But speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Belgium's Euro 2000 tournament spokesman Jan de Grave made it plain he envisages no changes at this late stage.

"We are very determined that it is not going to be moved," he affirmed.

Green light

"Preparations have been made. The fire brigade has been doing exercises in Charleroi and police too.

"We have had an international game (Belgium-Portugal) there as a test case there so we feel every precaution that should have been taken has been taken.

"We have to rely on the green light that is being given by everybody involved. These people are professionals - the fire brigade, police, the Interior Ministry and Uefa.

"Everybody knows what they are talking about, they all feel confident that the game can take place there."

Asked if he was confident the Belgian authorities would be in complete control in the event of trouble in the stands or around the stadium, de Grave reiterated: "Yes, that is what I'm trying to say."

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See also:

06 Jun 00 | England
Stadium 'fine' for England match
05 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Blatter boosts African 2006 bids
05 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Fifa boss urges Charleroi re-think
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