Saturday, January 20, 2007

Feyenoord turfed out of UEFA cup (at last)

Feyenoord have been booted out of this seasons UEFA Cup due to crowd problems at the match with Nancy in November, it isn't the first time that the Dutch club have been in trouble with UEFA about crowd problems, but at last the ultimate sanction has been applied, it isn't before time.

PSG are another club who need to be sorted out, their supporters have been guilty of racist chanting and causing trouble during and after matches. Again back in November and in the same competition there was further trouble in the match between PSG and Hapoel Tel Aviv, the visitors won 4-2, but the racist chanting was so bad Hapoel Tel Aviv spokesman Amir Lubin commented. "We could hear the chants of the French crowd which were in no way connected to football". After that game in Paris, a PSG fan was shot dead by a plain clothed policeman who fired two shots into a crowd of 100 home fans who were attacking a single Hapoel Tel Aviv fan, another man was injured.

UEFA needs to ensure that visiting fans can visit clubs in Europe in safety before, during and after games. In England this has been happening for quite some time, the policing is firm, effective and fair for the most part. Sadly the same cannot be said of travelling around Europe. The clubs have a duty to ensure that they control their own fans in the ground and to do as much as possible to make sure that policing is done properly - all too often around Europe both doesn't happen.

Down the years supporters of United have been the victims of missile attacks during the game when visiting Italian clubs, indiscriminate police baton charges at places like Porto with women and children being truncheoned. The policing in Turkey has down the years been nothing short of disgraceful and this alone should be enough to chuck the Turkish clubs out of Europe - for not controlling their own police.

There is a feeling among English fans that they're treated differently around Europe and that no way would English clubs get away with what often goes on in other European countries at least now that Feyenoord have been booted out, it partly lays that argument to rest.

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