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Thursday, November 11, 1999 Published at 12:51 GMT

Police security operation severely tested

Around 6,500 England fans hadtickets for the match

The biggest security operation ever mounted for a British sporting event was severely tested as Scotland and England fans clashed following the Euro 2000 play-off at Hampden Park.

Strathclyde Police had said they were confident that the measures they had put in place would prevent trouble, despite fears that some Scots may have been sold tickets for the English section of the stadium.

The BBC's Liz McKean reports: "Over six thousand English supporters will be travelling to see the game"
Closed-circuit television cameras and undercover officers were on constant lookout for troublemakers, and rival fans were strictly segregated before and after the game.

English supporters were escorted in and out by Hampden's King's Park entrance, and the Scottish fans via the Mount Florida gate.

[ image: Police mounted a high profile operations]
Police mounted a high profile operations
A huge police presence was maintained in Glasgow throughout the day, stubbing out potential incidents before they could escalate.

A woman told how she saw a group of England fans being ejected from a pub in Buchanan Street.

Fighting broke out and the woman said: "It was absolutely amazing - there were about 60 policemen on the scene within about two minutes.

"It was absolutely incredible and I think some of the England fans were arrested."

Disturbance planned

More than 250 British Transport Police from England were sworn in under Scots law to travel with supporters taking trains across the border.

In a parallel move, 111 English hooligans were identified by the National Criminal Intelligence Service and served with orders requiring them to report to their local police stations in England just before kick-off.

BBC Scotland's Reevel Alderson: "The police believe they have the powers to deal with the estimated 200 hooligans expected"
Assistant chief constable for Strathclyde Police, Andrew Cameron, said the Football Intelligence Unit had reported that a small band of troublemakers were planning a disturbance.

"We are dealing with that by undertaking very high visibility policing throughout the weekend, from Friday night to Sunday, with a significant number of plain clothes officers."

He stressed that the vast majority of fans would be well behaved.

Scotland will play England at Wembley in the return leg on Wednesday.

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In this section

Scotland squad guide

England squad guide

Great border skirmishes

Generals in the firing line

A history of fierce football rivalry

Fans in court over football trouble

Scotland v England

Lambert out of play-offs

Hendry's double jeopardy

Brown cautious over Hendry injury

The limitations of passion-play

England claim the prize

All quiet after Wembley showdown

Timeline: England v Scotland II

Hooligans face up to smart cameras

Cheers and tears for Scotland