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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
More 'thugs' banned from Cardiff City
Supporters invade the pitch at a Cardiff City game
Arrests at Cardiff City matches have trebled
Cardiff City football has one of the worst records for hooliganism in the football league, according to Home Office figures.

Courts banned 125 Bluebirds fans from going to matches at home and abroad last season, in a year which saw an upsurge in violence in and around grounds.
Hooliganism figures from Home Office
Arrests at Cardiff games: 129
Cardiff fans' banning orders: 125
Arrests at Swansea games: 7
Arrests at Wrexham games: 11

The number of banning orders was the highest of any other club as football's authorities attempted a high-profile crackdown on hooligans ahead of the World Cup in Japan and Korea.

The Association of Chief Police Officers has named Cardiff City as one of the "problem clubs" in Division Two, despite a pledge by its chairman, Sam Hammam that he would crackdown on its thuggish supporter element.

But the picture for other league teams in Wales is not as grim - Swansea City had only 7 arrests, down from 72 the previous season, and Wrexham just 11, also well down.

Home Office statistics show Cardiff City is a contender for the top place in the sport's hooliganism league.

The number of arrests at Cardiff games more than doubled from 40 in league games to 100, and 129 in all competitions, while overall arrests for football-related arrests during the 2001-02 season fell by six per cent.

In Division Two, only Stoke had a higher number of arrests, 143, and it was second for banning orders, with 107.

Former Cardiff City hooligan, Tony Rivers
Tony Rivers has written about the Soul Crew

Followers of Cardiff and Stoke have history of clashes.

Of the 129 arrests of Bluebird supporters, 17 were for violent disorder, 46 were for public disorder, 13 were for throwing of missiles, ten people were held for running onto the pitch, 36 were alcohol offences and ten were for miscellaneous offences.

Tony Rivers, a former Cardiff City hooligan, who has written about his ten-year involvement with the club's infamous "Soul Crew" gang of violent hard-core supporters, said the club is tackling the issue but faces having to deal with a new generation of thugs.

He said: "There's a 20-year circle I suppose, there's a new generation coming through, a lot of 15 and 16 year olds, kids basically, who are getting involved and they are not really realising the consequences."

In May, Cardiff City chairman Sam Hammam called for an emergency summit meeting with the police, council leaders, and the Football Association of Wales, in a bid to beat hooliganism at the club.

Crowd trouble

His call came after a BBC documentary on the club's hooligan problem.

In the same month, the club was fined 20,000 after it was found guilty of misconduct following crowd trouble at the team's FA Cup tie with Leeds United in January.

South Wales Police Chief Superintendent Jeff Cooksley, said: "We are increasing the number of season ticket holders, we've made changes within the ground which will help us police the ground, and these will combine to let us have a much happier, safer, ground."

The banning order rise at Cardiff City has contributed to a rise in the numbers across the English league from fewer than 700 to 1,149 last season.

Across Britain, the figures also showed 1,053 banning orders preventing suspected hooligans from travelling to the World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
David Temme, chief executive, Cardiff City FC
"You don't want to see arrest figures but then again I think that they are quite positive."
Former Cardiff City hooligan, Tony Rivers
"There's a new generation coming through, a lot of 15 and 16 year olds, kids basically,."
Vince Alm, Cardiff City Supporters' Club
"We don't see so much serious disorder as we did even five years ago."
See also:

17 May 02 | Hooligans
10 May 02 | Hooligans
11 Jan 02 | Newsmakers
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