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Saturday, 27 May, 2000, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Hooligan law plea refused
The government has turned down a plea by the Football Association to pass emergency legislation to prevent known hooligans travelling to Euro 2000.
The FA had made an 11th hour plea but on Saturday the Home Office said it could not be met.
Parliament does not reassemble until 5 June making it impossible to introduce the legislation before the start of Euro 2000, which kicks off on 10 June.
It emerged the clause could have included last year when a backbench Football (Offences and
Disorder) Bill recommended courts be given power to
ban individuals suspected by the police of involvement in hooliganism from
But the Bill proceeded on to the statute book without the measure amid backbench concerns that it might represent an unjustifiable infringement of civil liberties.
The FA had called for the emergency measures after renewed fears of violence.
Earlier this month the Uefa Cup Final between Arsenal and Galatasaray in Copenhagen was marred when fans fought running battles in the streets.
That followed the murder of two Leeds fans in Istanbul before the semi-final first leg.
There are fears that hooliganism involving followers of England, Turkey and other nations will erupt at the tournament.
In a statement the FA said: "We are urging politicians of all the major parties - even at this late stage - to consider emergency legislation to withdraw passports from known hooligans.
"Such legislation was tabled but never enacted in Parliament last year, despite Home Office support.
"At the time, we publicly regretted the actions of those of whatever political persuasion who opposed it.
"Such legislation the FA has supported over many years.
"We have had every reason to reaffirm that commitment in recent weeks.
"England wants its contribution to be remembered for what happens on the pitch, and for the performances of Kevin Keegan's team.
"We share that wish with all but very few known hooligans in our country."
However the Home Office quickly made clear that the FA's appeal for emergency legislation could not be met.
The Home Office spokesman added that British police had been liaising closely with their counterparts on the Continent in an effort to minimise the impact of any hooligans who might travel abroad.
And at a meeting of EU home affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday, Mr Straw and his colleagues would be discussing the "strongest possible measures" which could be taken against potential hooligans.
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