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The BBC's Robert Hall
"350 officers will be spread across Leeds"
 real 28k

The BBC's Richard Wells
"Appeals for calm went unheeded"
 real 28k

Peter Ridsdale
"I do not believe there will be any problems"
 real 28k

Thursday, 20 April, 2000, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Violence delays kick-off
Galatasaray and minders
Guards keep watch over Galatasaray
Police are keeping the lid on tensions in Leeds, prior to the club's crucial Uefa Cup clash with Galatasaray.

There was a hostile reception for three coaches carrying Galatasaray officials which arrived at Elland Road on Thursday night. Hundreds of Leeds fans jeered and chanted "scum".

An object was reportedly hurled at the front coach, smashing one of the windows in what is believed to be a retaliation for the murder of two Leeds fans in Turkey.

Some Leeds supporters drew their finger across their neck in a mock gesture similar to that given by Turkish fans towards United supporters two weeks ago.

There was violence outside the ground and two BBC news crews were forced to withdraw as police clashed with Leeds supporters.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of disturbances in Leeds city centre.

'100,000 police bill'

The trouble comes after police in the city mounted one of Britain's biggest football security operations

More than 350 officers are policing the match at Leeds United's Elland Road ground.

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Paul Gavin said the total cost of policing the game will be "in excess of 100,000".

Officers have been drafted in from neighbouring forces to work alongside an extra 200 stewards.

Despite the security levels, Galatasaray fans have been banned from the game after Leeds FC said it could not guarantee their safety.

Mr Gavin told a news conference: "There's been an extensive amount of planning into tonight's game.

"The plan is to be firm but fair. We have a great deal of experience handling these sort of fixtures.


Leeds Utd advert
The advert appeared in national newspapers
"For us this is another major fixture, but it's an exceptional match because of what happened in Turkey.

"Our aim is to simply get people to and from the game without incident."

He added that anyone turning up without tickets would be turned away, including any Turkish fans not allocated one of 80 VIP tickets.

In an effort to rule out any violence, Leeds FC took out a full-page advertisement in several national newspapers under the heading "Tonight must be all about football".

Translated into Turkish

Signed by Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale, the advert said: "We have an opportunity to show everybody that Leeds United supporters can put to one side the distressing events in the centre of Istanbul and give the team their total vocal commitment in a positive manner."

Parts of the advert contained the same message translated into Turkish.

As match day preparations began at Elland Road, plans to remove floral tributes placed by a statue of Billy Bremner outside the ground were abandoned on orders from Mr Ridsdale.


Kevin Speight
Kevin Speight: Stabbed to death
It is expected that both teams will wear black armbands during the game as a further mark of respect.

Galatasaray won the first leg of the Uefa Cup semi-final 2-0.

Their players landed at Leeds Bradford Airport on Wednesday under protection from Turkish anti-terrorist commandos.

In Leeds, police have advised some kebab shop and Turkish restaurant owners to close early.

The second leg comes days after the funerals of the two Leeds fans.

Christopher Loftus, 35, of Harehills, Leeds, was buried on Tuesday.

The funeral of father-of-two Kevin Speight, 40, of Farsley, near Leeds, took place on Monday. Four men have been charged with their murder.

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See also:

19 Apr 00 | Football
Leeds face uphill task
18 Apr 00 | UK
Hundreds salute Leeds fan
13 Apr 00 | Football
Leeds shock at Uefa charge
06 Apr 00 | Europe
Passion of Turkish fans
11 Apr 00 | Football
We want to play - Galatasaray
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