Wed, Apr 17, 2013 - Page 18 News List

English soccer shaken by resurgence of hooliganism


On Saturday, 11 fans of second-tier club Watford were also arrested as they traveled from a match at Peterborough through London’s King’s Cross train station

“In recent years, police, football clubs and other partners have made great strides in tackling the [hooligan] problem and we’ve seen enormous reductions in offenses thanks to a combination of robust policing and the banning of troublesome individuals from attending matches,” British Transport Police Chief Constable Andrew Trotter said. “The scenes at Wembley Stadium on Saturday and in Newcastle on Sunday serve as a firm and sobering reminder that there is still much more to be done in tackling football-related disorder.”

The incidents came days after the 2018 World Cup organizing committee said it was looking to England to solve Russia’s hooliganism.

“What you achieved in England in the past 30 years was a true revolution,” World Cup director Alexander Djordjadze said.

Yet the ugly reminder over the weekend of England’s hooligan past has reinforced the urgency to make sure the progress in cleaning up the game is not lost.

Robertson said the early indications are that the incidents were caused by a “combination of too much drink, warm weather and an enormous amount of stupidity from the fans involved.”

Worse crowd disorder has been witnessed this season, with three Borussia Moenchengladbach fans stabbed in Rome, Italy, ahead of a Europa League match against SS Lazio in February, and riot police deploying tear gas to deal with disorder outside AC Milan’s match against SSC Napoli last weekend.

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