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The BBC's Adam Mynott
"The hooligans who use weapons like these are not football fans"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
English 'hooligans' refused entry
Copenhagen riots
Organisers fear a repeat of riots in Copenhagen
Two known English football hooligans have been turned away by Dutch authorities after attempting to travel to the Euro 2000 championships.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said one fan was refused entry at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and another at the Hook of Holland ferry port.

England coach Kevin Keegan has told the home secretary he fears trouble involving England fans during the tournament could psychologically damage his squad.

Meanwhile the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) in London is preparing to monitor troublemakers for 24 hours a day during the championship.


These people are not supporters, they are a treachery to the game

Jack Straw

"Kevin Keegan told me that the last thing that the England squad needed was for there to be trouble in the grounds or away from the grounds with alleged England fans," said Mr Straw.

"I say alleged because these people are not supporters, they are a treachery to the game and they not only bring shame on the nation but they are a large psychological distraction for the England squad."

In his final press conference before England fly out to Belgium for Euro 2000, Keegan himself urged fans to behave.

He said: "We want the support behind the team, but we don't want the stupidity.

Hotline

"It is certainly not helpful to Kevin Keegan and it is not helpful to the team - and that's even more important.

"What we desperately don't want is the wrong sort of people going for the wrong sort of reasons to do the wrong sort of things."

Details of more than 500 supporters with domestic or international bans have been given to the Dutch and Belgian authorities.

Bryan Drew, head of strategic and special intelligence for NCIS, said a hooligan hotline launched by Mr Straw had been inundated with calls since the violence in Copenhagen last month between Arsenal and Galatasaray fans.

He said that names of 43 thugs had been given to intelligence officers and their details passed to Dutch and Belgian authorities.



Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan: Psychological worries
English supporters currently under domestic bans have been sent letters warning that they risk being turned away if they try to travel to Euro 2000.

Mr Drew said: "This is the most extensive and sophisticated operation we have ever mounted for a major overseas tournament."

Football intelligence officers from around the country have been drafted into NCIS headquarters to help root out disruptive fans before they reach the tournament and identify troublemakers once they are there.

Police at the tournament would not hesitate to haul unruly supporters before the courts and these fans would face further prosecution when they return home, said Mr Drew.

Hooligans could be banned from all football matches for 10 years, he added.

Ten-year ban

"Ten years out of football is an awful long time," said Mr Drew.

While touring the NCIS headquarters, Mr Straw was shown a "trophy cabinet" containing weapons snatched from hooligans including knuckledusters, knives, pepper gas and clubs.

The home secretary has already met Dutch and Belgian ambassadors to discuss how to stop hooligans getting to the games.

New laws may allow Dutch and Belgian courts to carry out trials on a daily basis, including weekends.

Local police forces have prepared holding cells in many cities, which can accommodate up to 4,000 fans, while Belgian and Dutch police have special powers to detain anyone threatening trouble.

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06 Jun 00 | England
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