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1985: Uefa bans English clubs from Europe
European football's governing body Uefa has banned English clubs from playing in Europe indefinitely, following the riot at Brussels' Heysel stadium four days ago in which 39 people died.

The ban follows an announcement by the British Football Association on 31 May preventing its own English teams from playing in Europe.

Today's announcement came after an emergency session of soccer chiefs in Switzerland, and cannot be appealed. It is expected to cast English clubs into the European wilderness for several years.

Liverpool fans have been blamed for the Heysel tragedy, when supporters charged at a wall separating them from Juventus fans, causing it to collapse onto the mainly Italian crowd.

English football welcomes move

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempt from the ban, and disciplinary action against Liverpool FC is also being considered.

Reacting to the decision, football league president Jack Dunnett said: "It is unfair to punish clubs which had nothing to do with the Brussels tragedy".

But the move was welcomed by other leading figures in English football.

FA Secretary Ted Croker said: "There are many of us who don't want to see us back in Europe until we have got our own house in order."

A British representative on Uefa's 11-strong executive committee said he had unsuccessfully tried to push for the ban to be limited to a set period. But David Will, president of the Scottish FA, said: "The feeling in Uefa is very, very strong".

The British government is set to announce new measures to tighten crowd control in British clubs in the aftermath of the Heysel tragedy.

These are expected to include confirmation of a drinks ban in all British clubs, the introduction of club membership cards to give known supporters access to matches, and wider use of CCTV cameras.

In Liverpool police are launching an inquiry into the Brussels riot. A public hotline has been set up in an attempt to establish what happened and identify those responsible.

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President of the Scottish FA David Will
President of the Scottish FA David Will: "The feeling in Uefa is very, very strong"


In Context
English clubs were excluded from continental competition for five years - and Liverpool for six years - but hooliganism continued to plague English football.

In 1992 English hooligans caused violence and destruction at the European championship finals in Sweden, and in 1995, a friendly international between Republic of Ireland and England in Dublin was abandoned after 27 minutes when England fans rioted.

In June 2000 Uefa threatened to expel England from the Euro 2000 tournament after a weekend of trouble in Brussels and Charleroi saw 584 British citizens arrested.

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