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The BBC's Paul Newman
"England can only hope for possibly 2 of the 8 UEFA votes"
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Monday, 26 June, 2000, 08:59 GMT 09:59 UK
Hooligans threaten World Cup bid
Rioting fans
Belgian police were forced to use water cannons on fans
Violence by hundreds of England fans during Euro 2000 could persuade European football's governing body not to endorse the country's 2006 World Cup bid.

Members of Uefa are meeting in Rotterdam on Monday to discuss bids to host the tournament, four days before it must decide which country to back.

Rioting by hooligans in Charleroi and Brussels could have scuppered England's 10m campaign in favour of its main rivals Germany.

When matches are being played abroad we get the problem of people without tickets and getting drunk

Gerhard Aigner, Uefa

Uefa leaders are also expected to renew their call on the British government to toughen up laws against football hooligans.

They are said to have been impressed by Germany's success in preventing its known hooligans from travelling to the championship.

Uefa's disgust

Around 850 fans were detained in Brussels and Charleroi before and after England's 1-0 Euro 2000 victory over Germany following clashes with police and rival supporters.

Hundreds of England fans were then deported home.

Uefa's disgust at their behaviour peaked when the governing body threatened to expel the England team from the tournament if the fans were involved in further trouble.

Tony Banks and Sir Bobby Charlton
Tony Banks and Sir Bobby Charlton will have to lobby for support for England 2006 bid

The British government says it did all it could to prevent hooligans from travelling.

Uefa chief executive Gerhard Aigner has said Uefa accepts games and matches held in England are mainly trouble free.

"The police have developed strategies and know the people and stop them travelling to games and we are better protected," he said.

"However when matches are being played abroad we get the problem of people without tickets and getting drunk."

Hooligan policy

England's approach to tackling the hooligan problem was heavily criticised in light of Germany's efforts.

The German authorities confiscated passports from 3,000 known hooligans before the championship.

German police officers also made personal visits to warn hundreds of others against travelling to Holland and Belgium.

Germany World Cup bid logo
Germany's hooligan policy could win favour with Uefa

In the UK, magistrates used the new Football Offences and Disorder Act to issue 36 fans with international banning orders.

The National Criminal Intelligence Service in London also warned Dutch and Belgian border controls of about 1,000 English hooligans.

Three members of the fascist group Combat 18 were among those turned back from Brussels.

England's bid committee, which includes 1966 World Cup winners Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Geoff Hurst, will now be involved in intense lobbying to stay in with a chance.

Uefa have eight votes on Fifa's decision making committee.

It has to decide between world-wide bids from South Africa, Brazil and Morocco, who are in the race alongside England and Germany.

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See also:

19 Jun 00 | Media reports
Europe condemns English hooligans
15 May 00 | Football
England's 2006 bid praised
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