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Blair Condems Euro 2004 Violence

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Tony Blair says Britons involved in continuing violence in Portugal "bring shame on our country".

Speaking at prime minister's questions, he said the clashes in Albufeira on the Algarve were "completely intolerable".

Portuguese police said 33 English football fans and one Dutch man, were arrested overnight, adding to a dozen held on Monday night.

England were told before Euro 2004 that hooliganism could see the team sent home, but Uefa has said the recent violence is unrelated to matches.

Mounted officers and riot police clashed with around 250 bottle-throwing supporters in the resort of Albufeira - the scene of similar ugly scenes the previous night and the base for the majority of England fans.

Mr Blair told the Commons: "The police should come down very heavily and make sure that those who engage in this disorder face heavy penalties."

A Uefa spokesman said England's position was not under threat, but said action could be taken if violence spread to matches.

"From our perspective we view it as unrelated to the tournament. It is not being viewed as football hooliganism by Uefa.

"However, if it changes - and we hope it doesn't - and there is trouble around a stadium or around an England match that position could change and we would have to review it.

"At the moment however we are viewing it as the sort of problems that might be encountered in any busy beach resort where people have been drinking too much."

Twelve fans arrested in the resort on Monday night appeared in court on Wednesday.

'I'm innocent'

They have been charged with public order offences and resisting arrest. They deny the charges.

Three green police vans carried the English fans to court, where a small group of friends and well-wishers had gathered. One shouted "I'm innocent" as he was led into court.

All of the dozen attending court - who were aged between 19 and 46 - were handcuffed. A Russian and a Portuguese man also came to court.

All of the English fans charged were offered the choice of a full trial or immediate deportation by the judge. It is understood they are likely to accept the latter.

Ricky Tsigarides, 23, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, told the court he had been enjoying a drink with friends and holding a flag, when he was hit twice on the legs by a policeman, knocked to the floor and dragged away.

He said: "My holiday has been ruined because one stupid idiot threw a chair at the police and unfortunately I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

BBC News Online reporter Duncan Walker, inside the court, said there were difficulties because the translator was "not very proficient" in Portuguese. She has since been replaced.

He added that some of the fans had no legal advice or representation.

Police witnesses and supporters of the defendants were due to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon, Walker said.

England know they could be sent home if trouble continues

Friends of the defendants said they were unable to understand proceedings and feared police could take action once they returned to the UK.

A Home Office spokesperson in London said if there was enough evidence gathered by British police, then any fans deported would still face prosecution in the UK and the possibility of a banning order.

David Swift, the senior British officer advising the Portuguese authorities during Euro 2004, said the violence had nothing to do with the competition.

"What we have is English yobs getting drunk and disgracing the country. The connection with the game is non-existent."

The Staffordshire deputy chief constable said the violence had "racist overtones."

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i object to the phrase "britons".

Again these are england fans not welsh , irish or scottish.

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i object to the phrase "britons".

Again these are england fans not welsh , irish or scottish.

Be hard, wouldn't it mate as none of the aforementioned are there wink2.gif

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i object to the phrase "britons".

Again these are england fans not welsh , irish or scottish.

Be hard, wouldn't it mate as none of the aforementioned are there wink2.gif

The vast majority of those over there 'supporting' the England team, will undoubtably be English. If it was the Tartan army causing trouble then the English would be the first to claim it wasn't them it was just the Scots... However the Tartan army is well regarded throughout Europe as there is rarely any trouble from the Scots fans.

Its the ENGLISH team that has the culture of thuggery amongst its fan base

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To be honest, the media here is simply waiting for the first excuse to start wringing their collective hands and bemoaning the thuggery of English fans.

But let's just take a pause for the cause here:

1) A handful of arrests is not a riot.

2) There was zero trouble in Portugal after the defeat by France.

3) Although any trouble is lamentable, the fighting is little more than we see on the streets of any city in the UK at the weekend.

Sadly, the reality is that when you get a bunch of English lads on a week long bender there will always be the odd bit of trouble; however, when the media finishes its spin the trouble will always look like a mini-brixton!

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However the Tartan army is well regarded throughout Europe as there is rarely any trouble from the Scots fans.

Its the ENGLISH team that has the culture of thuggery amongst its fan base

Thinks back to Wembly Stadium. wink2.gif

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i object to the phrase "britons".

Again these are england fans not welsh , irish or scottish.

The vast majority of those over there 'supporting' the England team, will undoubtably be English. If it was the Tartan army causing trouble then the English would be the first to claim it wasn't them it was just the Scots... However the Tartan army is well regarded throughout Europe as there is rarely any trouble from the Scots fans.

You get is all the time though tongue.gif

If the Scots, Wlesh, or North Irish win or are well behaved their called British by the media, if they misbehave or loose their called Scots, Welsh, or North Irish.

If the English win or behave their called English. But if they loss of misbehave their called British.

Its the ENGLISH team that has the culture of thuggery amongst its fan base

True, English football has elements of fascism, did anyone notice during the Frence/England game the English were throwing Nazi salutes while singing 'God Save the Queen'. And a few years ago they were singing racist songs in Belguim. And there are other examples. Thankfully it is the minority.

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1) A handful of arrests is not a riot.

2) There was zero trouble in Portugal after the defeat by France.

3) Although any trouble is lamentable, the fighting is little more than we see on the streets of any city in the UK at the weekend.

Exactly. thumbsup.gif

Drunken pillocks getting nasty. London, Glasgow, Manchester, or any other big city, on any other weekend.

Let's not turn this into an excuse for English bashing.

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Let's not turn this into an excuse for English bashing.

I have yet to see anyone make anti-English comments huh.gif

We're talking about football violence, what are you talking about? huh.gif

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I have yet to see anyone make anti-English comments huh.gif

We're talking about football violence, what are you talking about? huh.gif

Me neither. Yet.

Actually, as Stamford makes the point, which I quoted, the violence took place away from the football. So not football violence in that case. Drunken ****s trying to compensate for being sad human beings.

As for racist chanting, we get it at league games, across Europe. Some of the abuse aimed at England's black players in the last few years has been disgusting.

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As for racist chanting, we get it at league games, across Europe. Some of the abuse aimed at England's black players in the last few years has been disgusting.

Yeah, but we're talking about English football violence, so thats why we're tending to be centering on it. Nothing racist about. Now if the thread was about Footbal Violence in general, and we were focusing on England, I could see and arguement about England bashing.

If all you wanted to say was, many European teams have racist fans, you could have just said that from the begining tongue.gif

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Posted (edited)

Now if the thread was about Footbal Violence in general, and we were focusing on England

As Stamford and I have made the point, that case wasn't football violence, having taken place in pubs away from, and days after the match.

If Rangers and Celtic fans go at it on a Friday night in a Glasgow pub, is that football violence, too? Or just cretins looking for an excuse to fight?

And YOU were the one who started the bit about racist chanting. I simply pointed out that racist chanting, and even pro-terrorist chanting is spread across Europe, not confined to a small number of idiots who attach themselves to England's football team.

Edited by Cufflink

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If Rangers and Celtic fans go at it on a Friday night in a Glasgow pub, is that football violence, too? Or just cretins looking for an excuse to fight?

I'd put that down to Secratarism. And if it was few days after a football, match then yeah, particilarly if it was abroad furing a tournment.

And YOU were the one who started the bit about racist chanting.

And you are paraniod.

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Posted (edited)

What's 'Secratarism'? Is that hatred amongst female personal assistants? tongue.gif

No, Talon S., I'm not paranoid. Are you incredibly forgetful?

And a few years ago they were singing racist songs in Belguim. And there are other examples. Thankfully it is the minority.

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether the violence was football related or not. I think it wasn't. You think it was. Fair enough.

Edited by Cufflink

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And a few years ago they were singing racist songs in Belguim. And there are other examples. Thankfully it is the minority.

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether the violence was football related or not. I think it wasn't. You think it was. Fair enough.

Indeed, as its a minority of fans causing the problem... how does this magically mean I'm racist? huh.gif

Sectaranism = catholic vs protestantism

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Indeed, as its a minority of fans causing the problem... how does this magically mean I'm racist?

At what point did Cufflink accuse you of being racist ?

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And YOU were the one who started the bit about racist chanting.

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From that quote he said that you started talking about racist chanting at football matches, he didn't say that you personally, were racist.

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Opps, misread it. blush.gif Actually despite having misread it, that does make me feel much better that their aren't racist insults being thrown about grin2.gif

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Well good, that's that cleared up then. thumbsup.gif

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Personally I think that we English get a bad press.

In Italy there is football violence and racsim that would make a member of the BNP blush, but you never hear about it.

A few English lads get drunk and get their collar felt and suddenly we're a nation of louts.

Go figure.

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Posted (edited)

ok i on purposley sayed out of that after my initial comment lol.

But in response to the comments of.

teh media is only lookin for an excuse

and

that tehre has been zero trouble.

I think the camcorder footage of the riots is enough to sy that it isnt a media conspiracy.

Im sorry but if you deny there is trouble then you might as well be condoning it.

Oh an cufflink i very rarely ever disagree with anything you post however.

Ranegrs and Celtic fans are a disgrace when facing each other.

I am a celtic fan .

However 80, 0000 of us went to seville last year without a single arrest.

Not one. the celltic fans also won both fifa and uefa's fair play awards for their fans behaviour, which by the way was barely reported on a national level.

Scotland have won fifa and uefa's international equivalent a couple of times. However in the past the scotland fans did cause much trouble , but instead of claiming a media conspiracy we faced it and now look at us.

The sectarian problem runs much deeper than football and i cant ever see it bein ended no matter how much is saddens me.

I am sorry they riot and it may be a small minority but not a tiny amount, they riot in their hundreds at times.

Neway the vast majority on england fans are well behaved.

This seemed to have denegrated into a needless argument.

All i stated was i object when they say "british fans".

Edited by wunarmdscissor

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'If the English win or behave their called English. But if they loss of misbehave their called British.'

Absolute crap, sorry mate.

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'If the English win or behave their called English. But if they loss of misbehave their called British.'

Absolute crap, sorry mate.

Excelent debating skills there. You really manage to explain the basis for your point of view! All the salient facts examined in depth!

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Overly pithy though Jimma's post was, it's the truth.

I've never heard any terrestrial British TV station refer to England hooligans as 'British' hooligans. Not once. And as regards non-British TV stations, they are, in any case, much more likely to call the fans English, given the strange propensity of non-Brits to call Britain 'England'.

Moreover I've never heard any channel try to rope the Scotland or Wales or Ireland football teams into the epithet 'British' when they do particularly well.

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