Football: KEEP OUT; Only 600 Tickets, and 100 Coppers, No Wonder FA Fear the Worse

The People (London, England), January 26, 2003 | Go to article overview

Football: KEEP OUT; Only 600 Tickets, and 100 Coppers, No Wonder FA Fear the Worse


Byline: EXCLUSIVE by AndyDUNN

ENGLAND chiefs considered banning their OWN FANS from a Euro 2004 fixture amid concerns that the clash in Liechtenstein could spark mayhem. The move was suggested as the FA faced up to a nightmare trip to the world's fourth-smallest country. In late March, England's multi-million- pound stars and their army of fans will descend on a stadium that... Would not be allowed in the Conference. Has just a scoreboard at one end and a children's playground at the other. Is HALF the capacity of Farnborough's ground. Can offer only 600 spaces for visiting fans. Is in a country that has just 100 police officers.

It all adds up to a major headache for the Football Association, who have had to defend themselves after the violence in Slovakia when two fans were shot and thousands were involved in trouble inside the stadium.

I understand UEFA refused a request to move the game to nearby Zurich and also turned down an idea to erect temporary stands.

And England are now resigned to having to negotiate a fixture that looks fraught with off-the-field problems.

Sven Goran Eriksson's side face the footballing minnows in the tiny Rheinpark Stadion on March 29.

And the major fear is that Liechtenstein, population 32,000, will be swamped by ticketless England fans. …

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