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The BBC's Paul Newman reports
"The image English football dreaded most"
 real 28k

Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 05:29 GMT 06:29 UK
Violence not over, fans warn
Arsenal fans arrive back in the UK after a night marred by violence and in which their side lost
Dejected fans blamed police and Turkish supporters
Arsenal fans returning to Luton airport overnight have predicted further violence between English and Turkish fans at Euro 2000.

Supporters, several bloodied and bruised from the clashes with Galatasaray fans before the Uefa Cup final, said a rivalry had now been established between English and Turkish hooligans.

Most fans blamed Galatasaray hooligans for the trouble in Copenhagen, while others criticised the police for being "too soft".

"English teams got banned from Europe but the Turks are just getting away with it," said Liam Goodenough, 21, a furniture installer from Luton.

'Knives'

"Lots of them were throwing bottles. They had knives. When we arrived we were just led into the middle of the Galatasaray lot and not a single copper in sight.

"I have travelled all over the place with Arsenal but this is the worst I have ever seen. There will be problems with the Turks in the European Championships."


Injured fan at Luton airport after violence in Copenhagen
A fan says police hit him on the side with batons
He added: "We just went out there to watch the game but this has overshadowed everything. Everybody feels the same. We don't even want to talk about football."

John Harrison, 36, of Chelmsford, Essex, a national accounts manager with sports firm Puma, said: "About 100 people came out of a pub and started trying to rally everyone to charge at the Turks.

"None of them had an Arsenal shirt. Some had tattoos from other clubs. I swear none were Arsenal fans. That really amazed me.

"I think we all feel very down. It has been a horrible day. I have been on many away trips where there has been a fantastic atmosphere and it has gone so well. But today it has just been a very sad day for Arsenal and a very sad day for English football.

'Bad atmosphere'

"I think there will be trouble at the European Championships. There was a bad atmosphere today. You could feel it.

"It was quite disgraceful and quite frightening. We had a young lad with us in our party and I think it has put him off European football for life."

Tony Gillespie, 27, a plumber from Finchley, north London, said: "The police were too calm. They were just not used to it. They were just completely overwhelmed and they just didn't seem to know what was going on. They were very slow to get in there.

"The Italian police, the French police would have got in there. But the Danes just couldn't control the situation. They were very fair, very nice people, but just too soft.

"I don't know about the European Championships. I think it is very possible there will be trouble. I think there will be organised violence."

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See also:

17 May 00 | Football
Galatasaray win Uefa Cup
17 May 00 | Football
Wenger anger over shoot-out
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