Thursday, 5 April 2007

Are the International Football Authorities Blind to European Crowd Trouble?

Eighteen Manchester United fans ended up in hospital following a clash between rival fans at the match against Roma in the Italian capital last night. Several of these had serious stab wounds; others had cut heads following the buttoning by the local police who claim that their actions were "justified". I didn't watch the match but I did see the ugly scenes of violence on the television news. it appeared to me that the police were deliberately targeting innocent bystanders and not any of the fans that were the real perpetrators. The home fans seemed to escape Scott free and it goes without saying that the Brits were blamed for the violence that occurred.

Cast your mind back a few months and you will remember that a police officer was murdered by fans at a match in Sicily. Violence and racial abuse is certainly not unknown in Italy and elsewhere the crowds have an appalling record yet it is always the Brits that take the brunt of any action. After the Heinsel Stadium tragedy it was the British clubs that were banned from European Competition yet this type of punishment has not been handed out to clubs from Turkey (where Leeds fans were murdered by fans in Istanbul)or any other European country.

The level of violence at British grounds now has almost ceased owing to the work of the clubs, our police forces and the genuine fans themselves. isn't it about time that we got a fair deal in Europe as far as EUFA and FIFA are concerned?

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