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David Blatt, Football Supporters Asociation
"People assume because it's English fans, they're to blame"
 real 28k

David Mellor, Former Football Taskforce Chairman
"It's an outrage Uefa have failed to deal with this Turkish problem"
 real 28k

Brian Glanville, The Sunday Times
"A strong case for throwing the Turks out of international competition"
 real 28k

Thursday, 6 April, 2000, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Fans' anguish at deaths
Tributes
A Leeds fan adds to tributes at Elland Road
The home of Leeds United football club has been turned into a shrine by fans devastated by the deaths of two supporters killed in Turkey.

A single black armband was placed on the statue of legendary former captain Billy Bremner, outside the gates of Elland Road.

Flowers, scarves and shirts adorn the statue and gates.

Some fans were in tears as they left their tributes to Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight.

Statue
The statue of Billy Bremner sports a black armband
One message read: "Why? It's only a game."

Another said: "To the lads who just wanted to see a game of football with all us Leeds fans."

And one tribute said: "Eat football, sleep football, die football."

Season ticket holder Mike McGuckin, 32, joined by his young son, said: "I'm devastated by it all.

"I can't believe people have died supporting a football club."


To have our lads go out there and die, it's gut-wrenching

Leeds fan Martin Quinlan
And fellow-supporter Martin Quinlan said fans were in shock.

"To have our lads go out there and die, it's gut-wrenching," he said.

"I feel for their families. I bet they cannot believe on a sunny day like today that their lads are not coming home again."

Mr Loftus and Mr Speight were stabbed during clashes with Galatasaray fans in Istanbul ahead of tonight's Uefa cup clash, which is going ahead.

Tributes
A miniature Leeds kit is among the tributes
Mr Speight's family solicitor read out a statement on behalf of his widow, Susan, her eight-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.

He said: "The family is devastated by what has happened and are trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

"The three-year-old girl does not understand what is happening."

Alison Pilling, Leeds fan and chairman of the Football Supporters Association told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I have to say I am more angry than upset about it because I am sick and tired of English fans going abroad, not having their safety guaranteed.


I am more angry than upset about it because I am sick and tired of English fans going abroad, not having their safety guaranteed

Football Supporters Association spokeswoman
"I think this is more an example of extremely poor policing because it is all being led by the view that we are all hooligans."

Prime Minister Tony Blair appealed for calm after what he called a "dreadful incident."

"While the facts are being established his thoughts and the thoughts of everybody in government are with the families of the two men," said a Downing Street spokesman.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale urged followers not yet in Turkey to stay away, and British diplomats urged fans already in Istanbul to stay indoors.

Special protection

David Davies, executive director at the Football Association, said: "The situation in Istanbul, as I understand it now, is that the several hundred Leeds fans are being sensible and responding well to pleas to stay in and around the few hotels they are currently staying in.

"They will receive special protection before, during and after the game tonight. This assertion satisfies Leeds United and it satisfies us."

An official club flight for fans from Leeds/Bradford airport was cancelled this morning, sparking an angry reaction from some supporters.

Leeds fan Lee Farrer
Lee Farrer: "We are adults"
"We are adults, all in our 30s, and we should be able to make up our own mind," said fan Lee Farrer.

"If you don't want to go you get your money back, if you do want to go, then the option should be there."

A fellow fan added: "We're absolutely flabbergasted. We are all here and the game's going to go ahead."

Other fans backed the decision to cancel the flight.

The Turkish embassy in London has issued a statement condemning the violence and extending its "deepest condolences" to the families and friends of the victims.

But Joe Ashton MP, chairman of the All Party Group on Football, said Turkey should be banned from hosting international matches.

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05 Apr 00 | Europe
Fans killed in Turkey violence
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