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Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Tuesday, 1 August 2006 12:00 UK

Hooligans

WHAT PANORAMA FOUND OUT
A 'fan' with police
99 per cent of the English fans that are out here have walked away
England fan
Germany
I wonder what's beneath all this? What are these people being loyal to?
Chief Supt Dave Lewis
Head spotter
British Police
They just want to have war.
Germany fan
Stuttgart
How to stop hooligans? Take every man aged from 14 to 40, cut their arms and legs off, that'll stop it.
Andy Nicholls
Former Everton hooligan

Panorama carries out an undercover investigation into previously unreported hooligan violence at World Cup 2006.

The film follows England fans from Frankfurt to Gelsenkirchen and infiltrates groups of troublemakers.

A record 170,000 England fans travelled to Germany for the cup and the majority were peaceful causing no problems.

But the worst rioting happened the day before the England vs Ecuador game.

Police believe rioters consumed or threw about 17 litres of beer each in Stuttgart and 400 England 'fans' were taken into preventative custody.

The motto of World Cup 2006 was 'a time to make friends' but undercover cameras reveal England 'fans' 'mobbing up' and singing songs about World War Two which visibly shock German police officers.

But many told Panorama's undercover team that they were shocked at the singing and violence. One said: "If it makes England sound wild and proud then I suppose that's their ethos behind it but as far as you know 99% of the English fans that are out here have walked away from that pretty much instantaneously which is something that we never get credited for."

Another said: "The Germans have been absolutely fantastic. You know they've bent over backwards to help everybody you know. They all speak English, you know, none of us speak German and we're all getting by. The police have been brilliant and everything, and all we can do is sing songs like that and it's not, it's not right is it?"

'Fans' on the street

For the first time in the history of the cup, British police officers were allowed to patrol the streets and airports of a the host country.

England was the most represented country at the tournament apart from Germany.

3,500 known hooligans had been placed on a banned list and officers had powers to check for them. But the tournament attracted record numbers of people from England.

Chief Superintendent Dave Lewis tells Panorama that he believes operations to control organised violence were good. But he fears future problems with come from a growing group of anti-social, drunk and volatile people associating with football.

The film reveals a future generation of 'youth firms' of hooligans.

One man who is a known international fixer of fights between different gangs expresses his disappointment that a bus is stopped from bringing what he calls a 'top firm' into a fight.

'Hooligans' shows rioting between German and Polish 'fans' in Dortmund which ended when the Bavarian Riot Squad was brought in.

Some of your views about Hooligans sent to us after transmission

Barry Levene, LondonThe programme clearly revealed the truth behind the myth of the friendly and reformed English fans abroad. They may have been a minority in percentage terms, but that's irrelevant. Once again these mindless yobs drag our country's name through the gutter. Can you imagine German fans behaving like that in our city centres if the WC was ever held in England? I don't think so. The scenes from Stuttgart were especially despicable. Racist chanting, idiotic puerile gloating 'war songs' and sneering arrogant nationalism from empty headed pig-ignorant drunken louts. This is the English liberty that the allies gave their lives for in WW2. Churchill would turn in his grave.

Richard, HamptonOnce again people complain about the bbc showing the 1% hooligan element, but the fact is it is there and look at the problems it causes a 3yo girl on her fathers shoulders crying for instance! Sorry it does not matter that 99% fans are well behaved stop making excuses for the rest of these chavs.

Paul Baker, WatfordI thought the Panorama programme struggled to do anything more than glamorise the small number of hooligans that attended the World Cup.

England currently has a drinking culture which can, on occasions, end in mindless violence. This can be seen in most town centres on a Friday / Saturday night.

This attitude can also be found at cricket, horse racing and various other sporting events where large numbers gather.

It is also true to state that the vast majority of people that go out drinking, or attend sporting events, do not cause any trouble at all.

A combination of a pathetic education system, combined with a lack of respect for other people and their culture, has created a generation that contains too many mindless morons.

I'm sure that other countries have their own youth behaviour problems, it's just that the English seem to export it too easily.

For a programme that attempted to highlight a problem, I felt the Panorama show glorified a few idiots, and by resorting to some lousy 'secret' camerawork, did nothing to show why these people behave in this manner, nor how they can be stopped from doing so again.

Marc Smith, Kazakhstan (Ex pat England Fan)I've always been told that seeing is believing.

I am a genuine football fan and I am passionate about my club and country.

The BBC has clearly set out from before the world cup to glam up a hooligan/ yob issue.

I was in Cologne for the Opening weekend and also the Eng sweden game when england played in Cologne.

Yes we sung football songs, yes we drank beer, yes glasses got broken and yes we did this with our shirts off. But then take into account the following:

England fans were optomistic about the chances in the world cup (something the bbc kept building us up for), the temp was over 30oC even at 2300 at night, Beer was cheaper than water and the germans brew fantastic beer. There were not enough staff to clear glasses from tables.

I think this is a kick in the face for everyone who tried to make the world cup a success.

I don't deny that there were pockets of trouble but when such a huge number of fans attends a world cup there will always be a small amount of trouble.

The BBC should now redress the balance by showing the hours of footage of england fans enjoying the world cup trouble free!

Will Roberts, LondonI found your 'documentary' totally biased. I am a member of the official England supporters club, which contains people that have worked endlessly to improve the image of England fans for a number of years. This documentary basically suggests that any white male in an England shirt as a drunken hooligan, the people you filmed were not fans and you have a nerve referring to them in such a way. There was probably closer to 300,000 England fans in Germany and 99.9% of them were impeccably behaved, why don't you make another documentary portraying this side of the story? In Portugal 2004 and Germany 2006 we have been praised as being some of the best fans, please note the word FANS and not TROUBLEMAKERS. You also showed footage of the Cricket game with Trinidad fans and a few seconds of the school visits, these were the things that the REAL FANS organised yet you pretty much chose to ignore these positives, why do you have to focus on the negatives? Thanks for trying to ruin the image of us true fans who follow England all over the World, you should be ashamed, what a waste of license money.

Stuart, AmsterdamIt disappoints me to read some of the comments, especially those critising the BBC for filming and screening the program. I hope these viewpoints changed after the watching of the program. The BBC do not need to screen a program showing the England fans that did behave themselves - this was done during the world cup itself. This type of program is needed and again showed, even though a minority compared to 170,000 that visited Germany, that there is still a fringe element determined to provoke any level of violence. It also annoys me when the "its no different to a provincial town on a saturday night" 'excuse' is used. Just because these morons want to act like idiots after a beer fuelled saturday night at home, doesn't mean that they can go do it whilst being an 'ambassador' of their country when they go abroad. Why can't these people enjoy a drink and a sing-song without drinking themselves into drunken stupor and resorting to singing non-football related songs, and provoking people from other nationalities. These idiots need to grow up and get out a bit more. Go and see a bit more of the world. I certainly hope that the TV footage can be used as evidence for banning orders.
JB, UKThis is just a typical. It is always someone elses fault. We see this kind of behaviour in towns around the UK. What is the surprise when this happens in events such as the World Cup. This is a deeper problem, a problem with this culture.

Paul Beatty, Holton le ClayAn very poor effort from what is supposed to be a channel that prides itself on unbiased and quality reporting. Programmes like this are only going to increase calls for the licence fee to be scrapped.

I am a member of the official fan club and I took my 7 year old son to Germany to see 4 out of England's 5 games, we saw absolutely no trouble at all, we were in fact at the school visit that the programme showed about 30 seconds of us going into the hall, it failed to mention the fact that we sang with the schoolkids for about an hour, sat in on classes and answered their questions and then went to Koln FC's training ground to have fun with the whole school playing football and having small competitions. The programme also failed to even mention to visit to Dachau concentration camp by a group of supporters a very important and symbolic visit and one that would have been of great interest.

The programme blew a few incidents up into a major hooligan problem that does not exist. It was totally unbalanced and has only suceeded in tarnishing the fantastic image the England fans have built up abroad over the last 6 years, a fact that saw Sepp Blatter praise the English fans as being the best in Japan at the 2002 world cup and the German police and authorities saying the same after this years.

Panorama has lost alot of credibility tonight with this show.

MA, UKI cannot believe the comments of some viewers. Instead of facing the problem head on and try to solve it, the majority attacks the BBC for making this report.

English fans have been causing havoc for many years, there is a reason why English fans are on the news.

Im not saying that all behave in this way, but a problem exists and needs to be tackled. No point in avoiding the problem and shift the blame to the BBC.

Sean O'Conor, LondonThe BBC should report more on the decent fans and give less publicity to the bonehead minority but it is still important we feel ashamed and outraged people like this still exist. I was horrified how some behaved in that film. I was in Germany and the atmosphere everywhere was friendly, but then again I did not hang out with large groups of England fans.

Joe, LondonTo claim that a documentary about violence, whether on the streets of England or Germany, is an over reaction is to give credence to these acts of barbarism.

The justification for a documentary about hooliganism at the World Cup is obvious. The platform is a World stage and an opportunity to compare and contrast the behaviour of the races of the World as they enjoy the biggest sporting event in the World. Some enjoyed mmore robustly than others. The facts are that England has a culture of violence and just because you see it on the streets of England every weekend doesn't make it easier to accept when our nations envoys are groping Brazilians and lighting their flags... Brazil, the old enemy... it's utter madness and it's all okay beacause we're 'On Tour'!

Don't look upon this programme as an act of brow beating but an opportunity to address an issue that goes to the very root our culture, why are we so eager to pick a fight?

Dean, BristolImagine if foreign football fans were to come to a town centre near you and behave the way some of our "lads" did. The reality is if you were (for example ) still at School and sitting in a classroom where the teacher had threatened the whole class with detention because somebody wrote something stupid on the black board , you`d all give em up straight away would'nt you ? Therefore turning a blind eye or dimissing these as isolated incidents of alchohol induced "high spirits " or "banter"(which is lad lingo for acting like a horses rear end) does nobody any favours least of all you the dedicated fan. So do something about it before it gets taken out of your hands.

Nav, Newcastle-Upon-TyneThe World Cup was the first time that i have followed England at home or away.There are some complaints here which seem to suggest that some of the reports of disorder have been sensationalised, and to be fair the majority of other fans that i met and communicated with behaved acceptably.However, perhaps this was more noticeable due to the fact that i was staying and travelling with hospitable German hosts, but some of the anti German sentiments randomnly expressed by many fans were unnecessary,immature, vulgar and downright ignorant.

Hans Mattlet, SouthamptonSean and the others may not be seeing the whole picture, as the BBC tries to expose it. Yes, there was a small percentage of all English fans who vandalised cars, premises, etc, went into rioting, racism or got arrested. However, if you consider that 3500 more were not allowed to come into Germany, and that almost 200 hundred undercover British policemen had to brace arms with Germans to help control the "unbanned" fans, something ought to be happening with England's society. Or, did you see any special measures against any other fans rather than the English ones? How much booze was consumed by the British? Have you been to Costa del Sol? Who do you think are the drunk troublemakers?

Marian Kralik, LondonThis program was absolutely excellent. Video footage, commentary and the rest. It reminded me the programme when in one of the series Donal McIntyre went undercover to film British hooligans a few years ago. Tonights' panorama was keeping me in front of my PC during the whole programme.

Ben Barclay, BlackpoolThe only solution for these animals is to organise an outlet for their behaviour, strange why it's associated with football. Perhaps a 'Hooligan Factor' where contestants can vent their testosterone in a national competition, they can then compete with Germany, Poland, Turkey etc and be crowned world yob of the year, don't think there would be a shortage of contestants!! p.s. 'Hooligan Factor' consider it copyrighted!

Sharon Egginton, Halesowen, BirminghamI was so angry after watching your programme I have had to e-mail you!! I feel totally ashamed to be English, no wonder when we go on holiday we are hated so much. I honestly felt sick, I just can't believe that people act like that especially parents. That poor man who had his glasses knocked off and they wouldn't give them back to him. What nasty horrible bullies. I am 32, and have no childen this is because I am to affraid to have childeren in the society we live.....and I am certain as many of my friends are to that I will leave this country very soon leaving all the scum bags behind. Something has to be done....before its too late!

Sam Box, WorcesterAfter watching tonights hour special on the trouble in Germany i am in complete shock that you (the bbc) would donate an hour of time to ruining the good work that thousands of England fans have done over the past 6 years on improving our reputation around the world.

If you sent cameramen over there with the intention of secretly recording then it is clear from the start you were only looking for one thing. Why not donate an hour of footage praising the other 99% of England fans in Germany who went over, mixed with the hosts and had some of the best times of there lives? Because that wouldn't bring in the viewers?

I was in Germany for 15 days so i know from first hand experience that your footage was biased to say the least. Now you have portrayed an image to the British public showing us all to be Hooligans with your one sided coverage of the troublemakers so now that's what we will all be branded as once again. There may have been 3 parts of the program that showed the good work of the England fans, but it wasn't a fair balance! When i go into work tomorrow, a couple of people will look at me differently because this is what they will think i go away with England to do.

Sam Wright, LondonGood to see some video footage debunking the usual media myth of everyhting being rosy with the england fans. Our chav culture is a shame on this country. This was shown perfectly in the show with naive and innocent brazillian fans looking to party, being attacked by gangs of cowards.

Would have been better if the police had let the german hooligans attack the english rather than protecting them, perhaps it would have taught them a lesson.

P Lynn, HertsSoak them with water cannon that are visibly standing by. As soon as any trouble erupts, they will get soaked, then hopefully caught and sent to some sort of boot camp to stop the hooligan behaviour. One day maybe we will be rid of such disgusting unacceptable behaviour from so called football fans, who are no more than thugs.

Liz, South Shields Tyne and WearAfter watching tonight's programme I am utterly ashamed to be English. I live in this society, I am a part of the culture that allows these festering sores to thrive. Alcohol sodden riffraff with no sense of their own culture or dignity. The 'fan' fight fixer might have had a good idea for a new reality programme though-put them all in a big field and last one standing gets to go into BB house.

Kal, CoventryJust watched todays episode and was left shell shocked at some of the footage. None of this was covered by the main stream media. Makes you think how some people will go to great lenghts to cause trouble and provoke others.

Max Chatteris, EnglandIm 15 years old so my opinion might not be as valued as others but i went to the world cup ,was pictured playin in the cricket match for proof,and 99% of the fans out there just want to wtch the footy feel the atmosphere and have a drink the 1% want to cause bother. If you could make an hour show on 3 weeks or so of the worlds biggest footballing tournament and the worlds most followed and best supported team you could easily make an hour or two hour show on a night of violence in manchester or london and portray our country as the capital of stabbings and violence.

To be honest if you have achieved anything from this show it was to put fans off traveling with the greatest supported team in the world and making the greatest game in the world worthless to watch and a waste of money. Congratulations.

Claire Print, Hereford I hope with the footage the BBC have the English Police & FA will at least place life-time bans (the people they can recognise)on them attending any football matches across the UK and games abroad.

I've just read some comments that others have sent who say they saw hardly any trouble - how can they say that after what has just been shown on TV!!!

What annoyed me more was the bloke who got separated from his young son - what responsible adult allows his young child to attend that kind of potentially dangerous situation?!?! It makes me mad!!

I love watching my footy & I'll sing footy songs with the boys, drink the beer and shout at the ref - BUT - Rucking for the sake of it or coz the boys can't handle their beer or they aren't actually MAN ENOUGH to stop drinking when they know they've had too much its pathetic, childish and they obviously aren't REAL MEN!!!

It makes you ashamed to be English!

C Wilkinson, PrestonAfter just watching the program on Hooliganism in this years World Cup, I can only say at this very moment in time "I am ashamed to be English".

Such behaviour as was shown by the yobbish England fans, is I think, endemic of Booze Culture, were respect for "Anything" let alone other people, has gone completely.

It's a national disgrace, and I urge those brave soles who went under cover with cameras to capture the hooligans on tape, to keep being brave.

To the man who said, "to get rid of Football Violence, you would have to round up all lads from the ages of 14 to 60 or so, and cut their arms and legs off" I say have this to say.

Thankfully you're deluded and wrong.

One can only hope that Evolution will, eventually, wean out such animalistic behaviour from our very biology.

The people portrayed don't support football, or England, and they certainly don't represent both either, what they do represent and support, is the very worst mankind has to offer.

Most of the people they were abusing during those awful scenes, probably had family that fought shoulder to shoulder with English troops in order to save England and Europe from Nazi tyranny; yet one had the audacity of claiming a camera man was, "betraying his country" what stupidity and ignorance, truly.

KB, Leamington SpaI feel totally gutted and ashamed to be English and a football fan. After living abroad for 10 years I came back to the UK looking forward to going to games. I even feel put off watching footy here - this film represents a very small proportion of the fan base 99% are fine but until we sort out the 1% we continue to be tarnished by these pathetic individuals. When I travel back to Canada - the fact that I am English and a footy fan represents to them that I must be a hooligan. I hope there will be follow up to this film and the idiots shown are hunted down & arrested, shamed by their local community. Tonight I simply feel sad & ashamed.

P, Thompson, EnglandI strongly feel that this programme was not balanced! I was in Germany for the World Cup with my husband and had a really great time with the Germans and all the other fans from across the world. Your programme did not show enough of this type of fan - only a short interview with Mark Perriman. Yes there is still a problem with the hooligans - but it is far outweighed by the true fan and you did not show this - which was a shame. How can we encourage families to watch football when you paint such a one sided picture? Shame on you!

A disgusted footbal fan, LondonWhy is there not an anti-violence emblem on front of the England Shirt, with england players showing their support in the weeks before the tournament in a mass market campaign. The idols of these people are not doing enough to show their disgust !

Iain, Stockport, UKHaving watched the documentary and I feel ashamed that a small minority of mindless thugs drag the name of this country down. I am a supporter of football, following my local team and I have not (fortunately) seen violance on a large scale. However, now though it is less of organised gangs (although they are still there) and more of the usual yobbish "Weekend tanked up thugs" using Football as an excuse to be a hooligan under the England Banner. The vast majority WERE good ambassadors for Englend in Germany but it is our society that is being dragged down by yobs and it seems to be escalating. If Anyone comes up with a solution with to this problem short of a police state (we DON'T want that) then they will be a genius.

I REALLY hope there is a solution to all this Generally, not just with Hooligans using football as an excuse.

Melanie Karim, UKI have just watched the World Cup Hooliganism and think for all punishment, passports should be taken off them not only to attend football matches but holidays also, as why should others have to put up with the antics as its only effecting them when not allowed to football matches, others should suffer also within there family. A ban should be enforced for all these offenders.

Angela Brailsford, UKI feel must complain about the programme Holigans that have just been so insensed watching that i felt i must write a letter to air my views. Having spent 10 days in Germany whilst the Worldcup was on i had first hand experience of what the England fans were like in nearly all the cities shown. The negative images of groups of so called fans shown in this programme was a very narrow minded view and showed no reflection on how everyone got on and enjoyed the amazing atmosphere from all sides of the world. What a shame that Pananorama thinks that my license fee is being well spent showing such a one sided view on about people that no-one wants to see glamourised with cool music in the back ground as they show off to there mates how they can pick on one or two individuals. As there was nearly 100,000 fans in Cologne that day of the England match your focus could have been on the fans that were having a really great memorable time. And just a note to end on "Will this be Englands next shameful event?" What a way to end the programme. What a shameful programme.

Andrew Heaton, ManchesterDare I suggest that if you truly wish to demonise hooliganism rather than glamorise it, you refrain from playing all the footage of fighting alongside clubland dance music ??? I would have thought this to be little more than common sense, but clearly not ...

Richard , SpainThe UK, England in particular, desperatley needs to sort its education system out and rethink how kids are encouraged to see other countries and nationalities. if it does'nt, there will be unthinkable problems in the future.

Mark Gallagher, EnglandYour program currently broadcasting as I write turn my stomach. Not the fact that this happens but the fact that panorama deems it necessary to give these pathetic miscreants time on our television.

These people will probably be sat at home boasting and bragging to thier associates about thier primetime television appearance, assuming they have the ability to read the tv guide.

This to me is not news, or indeed of any interest to any upstanding member of society.

I demand to know how programs such as these are broadcast.

Keith Gallois, ElyAnd here was I thinking that Panorama was a credible documentary programme! If this is the best the BBC can do then you may as well give up now. I spent two weeks in Germany, with my father and friend. We saw NO trouble, met hundreds of lovely people and had a hugely enjoyable time. Your documentary portrays the finals as a war zone. Our experience was completely the reverse and it was lovely to see people of all nations interacting with each other in a peaceful and respectful way.

There is no doubt that there was trouble in Germany. Given the numbers present the law of averages means there were always bound to be a few idiots present. But was there any more trouble than you get in any inner city in Europe? How does the number of arrests compare with the number arrested at Ascot?

Your documentary concentrated on a small minority of idiots, but failed to bring out the overwhelming great behaviour of 99.9% of the fans. The louts you featured are certainly a disgrace, but they and your documentary are not representative of what the vast majority of visitors to Germany experienced.

Shame on you BBC.

John, DerbyI was near Franfurt and in fact visited frankfurt on the 21st June and So NO trouble what so ever, in fact the English fans were prasied, had my picture taken with Argentinian & German Fans!!

On the 22nd June i was in Cologne and the only trouble i saw was between 2 English Fans and this was quicly put down by the German Police!!

Even speaking to the German Police they said that considering the numbers of visitors the trouble was VERY small!!

Peter Curnow, EssexHow cowardly of the BBC to show this panorama documentary about hooliganism at the world cup AFTER the tournament has finished.

Why not report what was going on on the news or a panorama programme whilst the tournament wwas in progress.

Clearly it would have effected the viewing figures for the world cup games so it was supressed.

Shame on the BBC for putting viewing figures before the truth about what was going on and as I said in my first line for being so cowardly!!

Bobby Jones, CaliforniaThe only thing that has reduced violence is the use of camera's. Nobody wants to be filmed, arrested, charged and sent to prison.

Some of your views about Hooligans sent to us before transmission

Sean Dickens, Kingston Upon Hull
As a member of "EnglandFans" I was forunate enough to visit Germany and take in the group games in Frankfurt and Nuremburg.

I also visited Hamburg, Berlin and Cologne.

The England supporters I met were, by and large, fantastic ambassadors and the Germans only too happy to welcome us with open arms.

I am sure this one hour programme will have masses of non-football watchers and hundreds of thousands who didn't visit Germany salivating at the prospect of knocking those who went...

Perhaps by giving the bad element an hour long show the BBC will re-address the balance and give due proportionality by setting aside a full day or two showing all the positives made by England supporters this summer...

Who am I kidding...?

Nigel, Maidstone
I can see whats coming in this program before even seeing it!!!!! Being a member of the England Supporters Association for over 10 years and following England home and away I'd now like to make the following point.

In the 70s and 80s England football fans had an awful reputation. We caused havoc everywhere we went. Since then the FA along with the English football authorities have made great strides in irradicating the hooliganism problem. I've been to 14 away games around Europe and yes, you do occasionally see scuffles breaking out but this is nothing different to what happens in every major town and city in England on the Friday and Saturday night. I hope this program is unbiased and puts what happened in Germany into perspective. I don't know the full figures but only 250 or so people were arrested out of 175,000 supporters. This makes up a very small part of the travelling support and I hope everyone watching this program realises this.

There is already an impossible burden placed on English footy fans abroad. Programs like this make this burden even greater!!!

Lynchy, Maidenhead
A storm in a teacup.Ooh, so a few supposedly cruel songs were sung by a few dozen England supporters.So what? hardly merits a documentary does it?

GY, UK
Lets face the facts - the bbc spent 's sending reporters and crews to Germany, whether their was trouble or not they had a brief to make this programme. Out of the hour this 'show' is on for lets see how many minutes are of actual violence in Germany involving England fans. Good luck to the bbc.

Mike Gardiner, London
I am very dissappointed with the BBC joining the usual media in having a go at English fans at the first oportunity. Having travelled to many an away game the smallest of trouble always gets blown out of proportion when other nations never get reported. I will watch with interest and expect the usual bias. Go on surprise us!!

Clive Weston, London
Shame on You BBC, i was in Germany for three weeks sorry for not causing any trouble for you to bolster your documentary with, Oh no you have had to find some Germans & Polish fans rioting with real riot police because the English didn't do it in the numbers that allow you to sensationalise a documentary from, there is obviously not enough wars and destruction going on in the world at moment that you have the time to make this . It was the best world cup off the pitch i've been to, so why try and make out it wasn't, the Germans were great hosts (they had a lot more arrested than England). I'm not saying that every single England fan is a saint but why only show the idiotic few. Just out of interest when is the Panorama documentary on about the riots at Ascot races, where i believe there were more arrests that day than there where in Germany.

Nicholas Durham, Oxford
I was in Stuggart for the Equador match and in Gelsenkirchen for the game with Portugal and like other's have stated saw very little in the way of trouble.

Your reports states "But the worst rioting happened the day before the England vs Equador game", admittedly there was a flash point outside the fanfest where 70,000 Germany fans had enjoyed there teams 2-0 win over Sweden with a large England contingent stood on the steps of a terrace bar opposite the entry/exit point.

Some bottles were exchanged in either direction and a couple of plastic chairs, singing and banter between the rival groups. Interestingly as the German riot police took control with a line between the two groups the bar staff continued to come round with Litre plastic steins of strong German lager at 10 Euro a go.

The arrests were as your report states, were 'Preventative' no one was charged and everyone was released in time to make the match.

England fans earnt themselves a reputation as 'Party' Animals not hooligans at the World Cup, why make a documentary like this which shadow's the truth and gives anyone not actually there totally the wrong impression.

I have no doubt your footage will shock with your very selective editing of footage.

Peter John-Baptiste, Wembley
Why not film a one hour programme on the thousands of proper supporters who went to the World Cup.Would that not make good television?

Tim Cornes, rugby
If these individuals cannot portray our country in a good light when travelling abroad firstly I would take their passports off them so that they cannot disgrace our country again. Secondly, depending on the severity of their actions I would put them in prison and make them work for the community that the prison is based.

I have just come back from Nevis, West Indies and have seen this practice work extremely well. The person/ community that requires work to take place meets the head of the local prison, you agree to feed the inmates their lunch and in addition you agree a payment structure with the prison i.e. fencing, chainsaw etc etc depending on the size of the work undertaken. This way the offenders are being less of a financial burden to society, they are are also paying back some of the damage they have caused our good name.

Matt, Milton Keynes
I was at the world cup, and saw hardly any threatening or violent behaviour. Drunkeness yes, but violence no. There was less trouble in Germany caused by England fans than you see in most town centres on a friday or saturday night! It seems the media wants to perpetuate the myth of the English football hooligans, when in reallity there is hardly a problem any more.

Ian Legg, London
No doubt it will be another Hatchet job by the BBC on football fans,spoonfed by the Police so that they can justify the waste of tens of tens of millions of taxpayers pounds sending 34 officers on a one month long paid holiday and the massive cosat of patroling airports and sea terminals in the UK.

The drunken behaviour of England fans in Germany was no more and no less than any English provencial town on a Saturday night yet we fully expect another shocking expose by the beeb.

Meanwhile back in the UK Grannies will continue to be mugged,Drug Pushers will continue to deal openly on the streets and violent crime against the person will continue to soar,and your Burlary will go uninvestigated because of lack of funds!

A clear lack of priority exists but since Football is political it gets more attention than it should.

William Eaton, Wolverhampton
After watching many of the games there seemed to be more trouble on the pitch than off it!!

Billy, England
How much time & money is spent reporting/policing such minor affairs ??

The media/police in this country are completley obsessed with these so called 'hooligans'.

Why chase peado's, rapists and nonses when you can lock someone up for throwing a punch or doing a bit of shouting. It confirms that the white working classes are the easiest target for the police/media, even though there are FAR worse crimes being commited as i type.

Roy Fox, Brentwood
As a member of England Supporters Club, myself and many members are very disappointed at the focus of your programme. We have set up a topic on our forum and will be monitoring the programme. Please expect numerous complaints if you have sensationalised a very small minority of idiots. We are extremely angry that you have not focused on the successes of The World Cup in Germany, and the progress made by many England fans.

Jon Harley, England
I cant believe that tomorrow you are going to show a programme that highlights the idiot minority that followed England during the World Cup. I was at the tournament, and although hearing of a few minor disturbances, did'nt witness anything other than people having a laugh and a drink with our hosts, and enjoying an unforgettable experience! After all, we got world wide praise for our friendly and good natured behaviour, especially from our hosts Germany. If there were problems then it should be the Germans that raise the issue, not the BBC. If you stop the publicity of the idiot minority (remember about 200,000 English made the trip) then it goes some way to stopping the problem. Do not glorify it and bring it to the public eye, they do not need to see it. After all the England supporters have had to endure in the past with authorities and police abroad, we have gone a long way to changing our image and do not need programmes like this to tar us all with the same ! brush. I hope the programme will be fair and there is a view from the good side of the game, where thousands upon thousands of us travelled to Germany to have a party and make friends with like minded people of different race, colour, religion etc, from all over the world. If it is a one sided view of the mindless few, then expect plenty of complaints this time tomorrow. Thankyou for your time, Jon.

Judge, London
"A record 170,000 England fans travelled to Germany for the cup and the majority were peaceful causing no problems." So what does Panorama choose to focus on? Where was Panorama when England fans were visiting Dachau, or a giving school children english language lessons in Cologne, or organising a football tournament for people with mental health problems in Frankfurt? Go to any town in England on a friday or saturday night and you will see much worse behaviour than happened in Germany. You spent your budget expecting to record violence and ended up with a programme mainly about bad language and unpleasant songs. We know it's the media "silly season" but this programme is beyond a joke.

Martin Bowes, Manchester
I'm sure you can find trouble in any walk of life - look at 100,000 vicars and i'm sure you could dig up a few horror stories. Its taken years for the english to get rid of the reputation of being hooligans - in germany there was an estimated 350,000 english fans - if only a small minory caused trouble then I would say that is a major success. the english were praised by all for their friendliness and partying. the germans loved us and we loved them - why put a negative spin on what was such a glorious event. In the interests of fairness i estimate that if you show 1 hour of "hooligan" footage then you owe over 1000 hours of coverage of the well behaved fans. Remember we pay the licence fee and you are answerable to the people. Standby for a barrage of critism over this. You only have youselves to blame for your sensationism. Maybe you are aspiring to a job with the Sun or the News of the World?

Rob, Pattaya, Thailan
I cant understand this programme being made....went to Germany to watch England saw less trouble than any previous WC attended. Any event attracting such numbers of people will obviously have some trouble....rock concerts, rugby etc etc ...BBC will edit to show English fans having a drink and singing as football hooligans.....the BBC a joke.

Richard Bradkley, St Albans
I think that when you have such a large concentration of football fans in one location there will always be a small element of people that are hell bent on causing trouble. This is an issue that will always be with football. My problem is more with journalism like this from the BBC. Its easy to focus on the negative, if you look hard enough you will find it. I am sure the programme will not mention the England Friendly fan forum who organised a friendly football match between English and German Fans in aid of a mental health charity, nor will it focus on all the positive comments recently heaped on the English fans by the German police. Why do we have such a morbid fascination with everything that is negative about being English?

Panorama: Hooligans was on BBC One on August 2 2006.

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