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The BBC's Jamie Coomarasamy
"Unclear who started the initial fight"
 real 28k

The BBC's Neil Bennett
"A further effort to make life difficult for football hooligans"
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Newsnight's Sarah Montague
" Belgian police say their policy of zero tolerance is justified"
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The BBC's Ben Brown
"The English are no longer very popular here"
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Tuesday, 20 June, 2000, 07:01 GMT 08:01 UK
Charleroi ready for England fans
turkish fans
Bar windows were smashed in Brussels
A huge security operation is being implemented as English football fans start to gather in Belgium for Tuesday's crucial Euro 2000 match against Romania.

England needs only to draw to clinch a place in the next round of the tournament, but faces expulsion if there are any fresh outbreaks of violence.

But it was Turkish fans who rioted on Monday night in Brussels, after their team's 2-0 win over Belgium.

UK ministers hope new measures to combat English hooliganism will prove an effective deterrent to further violence.

Kevin Keegan
Keegan plea for good behaviour at Romania match
England coach Kevin Keegan has insisted that his players are focused on the match and not the on-going problems with supporters, which have led to Uefa's unprecedented threat to expel England from the competition.

More than 3,000 police officers will be on duty for the match in Charleroi.

Home Secretary Jack Straw said immigration and police checks at ports had been stepped up to spot thugs travelling to the game.

Ferries and the Eurostar train officials have been given lists of almost 400 people deported over the weekend so they could be refused return transport.

The Belgian and Dutch authorities have also been urged to restrict the sale of alcohol before the game.

Trouble broke out again on Monday night - but it was the Turkish fans who rampaged around Brussels city centre after their team's 2-0 Euro 2000 victory over host nation Belgium.

Our officers have proved they are well trained, they can react quickly and efficiently - I think your hooligans should be worried

Assistant commissioner of Brussels police
The Turkish fans gathered in the Place de la Bourse, a few hundred yards from the Grand Place.

They targeted a few English fans in bars but those who came under attack did not retaliate and the situation was brought under control by riot police.

About a dozen English drinkers were in the Au Pot Carre bar in Brussels when bricks and a car tyre were thrown through the window.

Its English owner Andy Barrett, 52, said: "The Turks smashed six windows but they are reinforced so we managed to stop them getting in. The English people inside were rushed upstairs to a back room by our staff."

A number of Turkish fans have been arrested.

The Uefa threat to ban England came after 584 British citizens were arrested after a weekend of trouble in Brussels and Charleroi.

The vast majority were not charged but immediately deported.

Christian de Coninck, assistant commissioner of police in Brussels, described the British hooligans as "inhuman".

fans celebrate
A Uefa ban would end celebrations like this
He said: "I think we were too soft on them. Our people are ready. Our officers have proved they are well trained, they can react quickly and efficiently - I think your hooligans should be worried."

Of the hundreds of people arrested before and after England's game against Germany on Saturday, one Englishman has been charged and is due to appear in a Charleroi court.

The man is described as being in his early 20s and he is accused of assaulting a policeman on Saturday.

Of the 300 people detained in Brussels at the weekend, two Englishmen will face criminal charges in court later this week.


In response to the violence Mr Straw announced on Monday that English hooligans would be banned for life from games in England, a move supported by the Football Association.

He said the UK would ask the Dutch and Belgian authorities to stamp the passports of those being ejected to help identification by the authorities in England.

"These people have disgraced our nation and our national game," Mr Straw told MPs.

Moves to stop hooligans travelling abroad would be "the number one priority over the next few months", he added.

Mr Straw said he would also consider introducing a single banning order for domestic and international matches with mandatory passport conditions, as well as powers for the courts in respect of unconvicted hooligans.

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | UK Politics
Labour 'inaction' blamed for violence
19 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Crunch game dilemma for Keegan
17 Jun 00 | Euro2000
England beat Germany - at last
06 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Police get tough on hooligans
14 May 00 | Photo Gallery
England v Germany - The History
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