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[an error occurred while processing this directive] Sunday, 3 March, 2002, 21:14 GMT
Insanity from Rotterdam
Feyenoord fans
Not all Feyenoord fans are involved in violence
BBC Scotland football pundit Chick Young says that some Rangers fans came away from Rotterdam fearing for their lives.

It's time match tickets started carrying government warnings. Watching football can seriously damage your health.

Even certain big hard men from Glasgow I happen to know by reputation went a whiter shade of pale at the sight of the maniacs who wear the colours of Feyenoord and who threatened GBH with the kind of smile that made you think initially that they were offering afternoon tea and scones.

Forget the Turks and their welcomes to Hell. Never mind London boot boys.

The fans of the Rotterdam club are insane. Lunatics of a dark and dangerous nature who would slap their grannies about.

Feyenoord fans battled with police in Glasgow
Feyenoord fans battled with police at Ibrox
Certain sections of the Rangers support are far from angels and one or two still struggle to have an IQ higher than their neck measurement.

But, despite the fact that the Ibrox club had just 2,000 tickets to dispense among around 7,000 fans who made the trip to Holland, most of them refused to take the bait and there were only minor battles where there could have been outright war.

Yet, what concerns me most is the disgraceful treatment of decent Rangers fans who made the trip with tickets distributed by the club and who were rounded up like cattle, ferried in buses they did not want to be in, trapped in holding pens and treated like they were the aforementioned thugs.

Fans in the corporate hospitality area, where there was not a steward in sight, were threatened, assaulted and generally felt to feel like their very lives were in danger.

And, immediately behind the area where I was sitting in the De Kuip Stadium, four Rangers fans were forced to leap for their lives into the moat to get away from drink-fired maniacs.

My highly-privileged position was 10 feet from Alex McLeish and his bench, virtually on the pitch from where I was broadcasting for the BBC. But, for a period, I could not watch the game for concern for the Rangers fans just across the moat.


Rangers lost to Feyenoord in Rotterdam
That cannot be right and Uefa must not fail to mount an investigation into the affair.

On a previous occasion, a search of the admittedly wonderful stadium found a gun hidden in the rafters, placed there ahead of derby against the much-hated Ajax.

A gun! What the heck is going on? This is the club, remember, that was trying to conjur an Atlantic League alongside the Old Firm.

Thank the Lord that never happened.

Can you imagine Scottish fans having to visit Rotterdam twice a season? By comparison, a trip to Aberdeen for Rangers is a Sunday School picnic where they are welcomed with open arms.

Clearly there are decent supporters among the thousands who follow Feyenoord, but there is an alarmingly large section who are not wired to the real world. They are seriously disturbed actually.

Much of this lunacy was clearly fuelled by alcohol, which was on sale inside the stadium and it underlined for me - and I speak as a man who does enjoy a refreshment - that we must never in this country return to the days when you were allowed to take drink into the stadium or go in to one drunk.

Riot police inside the De Kuip Stadium
Police know the fans' reputation
Rangers must be stopped in their tracks in any bid to be allowed to sell drink inside Ibrox. I applaud the behaviour of their fans in Rotterdam, but angels can lose their wings after a few beers.

The ultimate sanction will be matches played in empty grounds and that punishment has been dealt out by Uefa for scenes less serious than what went on at Feyenoord last Thursday.

But maybe soon there will be a total ban on away fans.

And, for some of the supporters of Rangers who were inside the De Kuip stadium, the sooner the better.

Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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