Police show red card to World Cup violence

PUBLISHED: 08:49 04 June 2014

Archant

FOOTBALL supporters from across the globe are flocking to Brazil ready for the World Cup – but 70 South West fans will be banned from joining them.

That is because Avon and Somerset Constabulary is ordering the area’s known hooligans to surrender their passports ahead of the tournament.

The measure is designed to prevent troublemakers from travelling and cut down on football-related violence which has given English fans a bad name at past competitions.

Keeping the area’s known yobs on home soil is effectively an extension of football banning orders handed down by courts for past misdemeanours which bar them from domestic matches.

In practice, it means these 70 fans will not be allowed to travel overseas at all while England are playing abroad.

Any of the 70 who fail to surrender their passports to police face being arrested.

However, police action around the World Cup does not end there.

Officers will also be stepping up action on drink-driving, antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse – all of which can rise during major tournaments.

High-visibility patrols will be increased ‘to ensure any potential problems are dealt with robustly’.

Drink-driving crackdowns akin to those run over Christmas will also be carried out.

Chief Inspector Jeff Foreman said: “We are rolling out well-rehearsed plans for the World Cup.

“We hope that it will be a successful and enjoyable tournament for fans, who will put fun and enjoyment at the top of their agenda.

“However we will not tolerate and football-related antisocial behaviour or violence, whether out in the community or behind closed doors at home and will deal robustly with such problems.”

The World Cup kicks off on June 12, with England due to begin their fixtures against Italy two days later.

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