Sunday 23 October 2016

UK spotters sent to Aviva in major clampdown on English hooligans

Lansdowne Road riots in 1996
Lansdowne Road riots in 1996

English football hooligans banned from attending next month's Ireland international must report to UK police on the day of the game.

The operation is an attempt to prevent chaotic scenes similar to those 20 years ago when the two countries met at Lansdowne Road.

THE UK's National Police Chief's Council (NPCC) is rolling out a number of initiatives in an attempt to clamp down on hooligan behaviour.

The operation, as a result of a "deterioration of fan behaviour" in recent years, will see individuals subject to Football Banning Orders prevented from travelling to Dublin for the game.

Certain fans that are subject to football banning orders will have to surrender their passport four days prior to the match, with the document being returned after the fixture, which takes place on June 7.

A total of 1,875 individuals are affected by football banning orders ahead of the game.

As well as handing over their passport, supporters who have been linked to hooligan behaviour will have to sign on at "nominated police stations" in the UK between 10am and 1pm on the day of the game.

A national operation will then be enforced to round up those who fail to comply with the procedures in place.

Assistant chief constable Mark Roberts said that recent hooligan incidents and the "close proximity" of Dublin have forced the NPCC to reintroduce certain measures for the first time in four years.

A group of football policing 'spotters' will also be sent to the Aviva Stadium to act in an advisory capacity with gardai.

"The spotters will also gather evidence, if necessary, for action to be taken back in the UK under football banning order legislation," said Roberts.

The last time the two nations met in 1995 a riot, instigated by the notorious Combat 18 hooligan gang, broke out which left dozens injured as well as the game being abandoned after just 21 minutes.

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