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BBC Wales's Nick Palit reports
"Dai Thomas is seen emerging from a bar and being arrested"
 real 56k

Thursday, 3 August, 2000, 07:32 GMT 08:32 UK
Club acts over striker's Euro 2000 arrest
Dai Thomas
Dai Thomas arriving at a Belgian detention centre
The chairman of Cardiff City Football Club intends to speak with striker Dai Thomas regarding evidence that he was involved in disturbances during Euro 2000.

On Wednesday, Belgian Police said a Cardiff City footballer had been arrested during crowd trouble in Brussels and claimed he had been deported.

Dai Thomas
Thomas emerges from Le Fiacre bar

Cardiff City launched an immediate inquiry after new video footage revealed Dai Thomas in the midst of a violent mob of English hooligans.

The Bluebirds striker said he was "caught up in a sweep" by the police and "did not believe that I was arrested at any time".

He went on: "I can confirm that I was not deported from Belgium but in fact made my own way home.

"I have always been concerned to protect the good name of the club and as I have said before, I will continue to co-operate fully with any further investigation which may be launched by my club."

Dai Thomas, 25, played for Swansea and Watford before joining Cardiff City.

Dai Thomas
Caerphilly-born Thomas playing for Cardiff City

The player's travels also took him to Euro 2000 this summer allegedly as a supporter.

But previously unseen footage shows Thomas doing far more than more ordinary fans in Brussels.

Mr Thomas had denied any involvement in the Euro 2000 troubles - a stance up until now, supported by his club.

"It is a serious matter," said Cardiff City Chairman Steve Borley.

"But we can only act on information we've got. South Wales Police hasn't provided us with that information."

Steve Borley
Cardiff City Chairman Steve Borley
And when asked, Mr Borley said Mr Thomas was denying any involvement with any trouble. But the evidence appears overwhelming.

Belgian Police are shown pursuing the so-called fans to the now notorious Le Fiacre bar.

Thomas can be seen emerging from the building removing his shirt and was among dozens of men arrested. He was later sent home.

"The man I've seen on the film was definitely arrested," said Brussels Police spokesman Christian de Coninck.

"And all those people arrested that evening were brought to a regional detention centre from where they were deported to the UK."

Officials at Cardiff City's ground Ninian Park have so far supported Dai Thomas and his denials that he is a football hooligan.

The club said they are reconsidering their position in light of the new evidence.

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See also:

06 Dec 99 |  Football
Football mob attacks police BBC News >>
22 Jun 00 |  Wales
Striker denies football violence BBC News >>
02 Aug 00 |  Wales
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