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Peter Ridsdale
"I've been disappointed with some of Galatasaray's comments"
 real 28k

Philip Loftus, brother of Chris Loftus
"We will all miss him and never stop loving him"
 real 28k

The BBC's Richard Wells
"In Leeds fans remain shocked and angry"
 real 28k

Saturday, 8 April, 2000, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
More arrests over Leeds deaths
heathrow
One of the bodies arrives back in the UK
Three more people have been arrested in Turkey in connection with the fatal stabbing of two Leeds' fans before a football match.

A total of 18 people are now being questioned about the violence which erupted on the eve of the club's match with Galatasaray.


Leeds fan
A Leeds fan wipes away tears
Turkish police are still seeking two more people in conection with the killings of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, and charges are expected to be brought against a number of suspects on Monday.

The new arrests come as Uefa considers a call from Leeds United to ban Galatasaray fans from the return leg of their semi-final cup tie at Elland Road on 20 April.

The Turkish club says it will ask for the tie to be held at a neutral venue if Leeds's request is granted.

Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale urged Turkish fans not to travel to England for the match.



It's time they started showing a bit more compassion about the incident

Supporters' club chairman Ray Fell
Ridsdale announced his plan to ban visiting supporters as the bodies of Mr Loftus and Mr Speight were flown home to the UK.

They were stabbed to death during violent clashes on Wednesday - the eve of the Uefa Cup semi-final first leg.

"I think in the circumstances of the events of this week, it would be far better for everybody if we concentrated on getting the second leg of the tie completed in safety and making sure we don't have any recurrence of the sort of incidents we saw in Turkey last week," the Leeds chairman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I think the easiest way of doing that and avoiding the provocation of Turkish fans being in Leeds is to say: 'Look, don't come over at all'."

But more than 1,600 Galatasaray fans have already bought tickets.

Some fans have already returned their tickets, having decided they no longer want to travel to England.

Nonetheless, many still want to see the match that could put their team into the final of the competition.

'We don't want revenge'

Leeds United's Supporters' Club is backing the proposed ban on Turkish fans.

Chairman Ray Fell said: "This is not a normal decision, but on this occasion it is one that everyone connected with Leeds United will support 100%.

"In the event of any Turkish fans being present - and I honestly hope there aren't any - I would ask fans to show common sense.
Kevin Speight
Kevin Speight with his son George
"This is not about revenge and I know the fans will not react. Had it not been for the restraint they showed in Istanbul, everything could have been a lot worse."

He dismissed the idea of a neutral venue as ludicrous.

"I don't think there is any country in the world that would even stage the game," he said.

"It's time they started showing a bit more compassion about the incident."

The Football Association said it believed a neutral venue would create even bigger problems and called for the game to be played at Elland Road as scheduled.

Suspects quizzed

A Turkish man has confessed to stabbing one of the two, say police in Istanbul.


"Ringleader" suspected of distributing knives
According to newspaper Yeni Binyil, a post-mortem examination showed Mr Loftus was stabbed 17 times, while Mr Speight suffered six stab wounds.

Thirteen men were arrested in connection with the violence, including seven who are being questioned specifically about the killings.

Officers said one suspect, Ali Demir, confessed during interrogation and to the media that he stabbed a Leeds fan.

A second man is alleged to have been the ringleader who organised distribution of knives.

Istanbul police say the blame for the clashes lies with the UK fans, who "insulted" the Turkish flag.

Leeds winger Jason Wilcox on Friday admitted that players had been initially reluctant to play.

He said: "It was an extremely difficult time - to find out two supporters had been killed was horrendous. It didn't bear thinking about, and still doesn't."

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See also:

06 Apr 00 | Europe
Fans' anguish at deaths
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Passion of Turkish fans
07 Apr 00 | Media reports
Turkish press changes tune
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Tragedy mars match fever
07 Apr 00 | Europe
Fans tell of night of violence
07 Apr 00 | Football
Ban Turkish teams call
07 Apr 00 | Football
Keegan: 'Leeds tie was wrong'
06 Apr 00 | Football
Galatasaray exploit the gaps
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