Feb 17, 1995 Nazi Violence at Ireland v England (Garry Archer, Simon Gleave) Oct 14, 1997 Italy v England Violence (Simon Gleave, Steve Jones, Karel Stokkermans, Marco Paserman) ===================================== 1. Nazi Violence at Ireland v England ===================================== From: email@example.com (Garry Archer) Subject: Neo-Nazis 1, Football 0 (Half-Time) Date: Fri, 17 Feb 1995 15:33:32 GMT Irish: "Scum", "Bastards", "English scum". English: "Ashamed", "Embarrassed", "Disgusted", "Ashamed to be English". US Media: "Soccer Violence", "Soccer Hooligans", "English Hooligan Fans". It's getting to be pathetically monotonous. The keyword above is "English". We are a war-like race. Always have been and always will be. Thank God there are more stringent gun-control laws in the UK than there are in places like the United States. There are no excuses here. Go ahead and blame the National Front and all the Nazis, but the bottom line is that they are English people. You can't blame the FAI's inadequate seating policies or the Garda (Irish police) for not recognising potential trouble sooner despite the British police handing them information on a platter, so I'm told. You can hardly blame the FA for poor ticket distribution control. (I can't believe I am sticking up for the FA!). You surely can't be serious and blame England's players or England's football supporters. Blame the whole English society. Actually, blame any society on this Planet Earth that supports a faction so far right in political terms that 50 years ago was guilty of murdering at least 6,000,000 Jews, Gypsies and other minorities it feared. Fifty years after the most bloody war in history, instigated by the Nazis, these people, who still follow this doctrine of hate and violence are still allowed to roam the Earth with decent human beings. I cannot believe that any Nazi party, that is what the National Front is, can exist in England. A land of rich culture and history. A land that once was honourable: "Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live." - John Milton, A.D. 1608-74 "In our halls is hung armoury of the invincible Knights of old, We must be free or die, who speak the tongue that Shakespeare spake, The faith and morals hold Which Milton held..........." - William Wordsworth, A.D. 1770-1850 We have forgotten. Now we are "scum", we are "hooligans". Accused so by the whole world. The shame these thugs have brought down on my fellow countrymen. A shame we have been trying to shake for over 20 years in trying to eliminate soccer hooliganism. We were doing so well lately too. This is nothing to do with football. These people went to Ireland to cause as much trouble as they could --- possibly to interfere with the peace process in uniting Ireland. Dishing out their anger at a football match in Dublin was the perfect environment. They had had months to organise. They were prepared. They won the battle. Whether they won the war is up to you. It is up to all of us. These people exist because they have "rights". They have the "freedom of speech and expression". Because of these basic rules we have had to tolerate them. How, in God Almighty's Name, did we forget what they did to Humanity in the 1930s and 1940s? The Nazis are gaining in strength again. Not just in England. Everywhere. And why? Because we let them. England was weak once before, under the "leadership" of Neville Chamberlain, and we watched Hitler walk all over Europe before we realised it too late. Hitler's form of Facism started small once before. He and his henchmen were only a small group of individuals starting out after the Great War of 1914-18. They started with samll party meetings. They started with protests. They started with riots. See the pattern? "From small acorns...", as they say. These criminals who staged the violence in Ireland the other night should be dealt with in the harshest manner. I'm afraid birching them and short prison terms is not the answer (although such things may give us temporary vengence). I'm not sure what the answer is. But the answer must lie within the root of British politics. How can the FA, all England supporters, nay, all English folk be held responsible? It isn't fair on all of us who would like to see the hooliganism stamped out more than any other country in the world. The responsibility must lie squarely at the feet of Britain's leaders. I have seen no other news about the violence, yet, other than what I have read here in rec.sport.soccer (it is currently Thursday lunchtime as I write this). I have no information of the FA's stance, or even British Prime Minister John Major's stance (but see my next posting "Nazis v Football (Second Half in progress" as I post these articles on Friday morning). I for one would like to see the National Front outlawed. All members or sympathisers should be rounded up and arrested. Their punishment? Let us not meet violence with violence. Let us not fill up our prisons. Let us not do what the Nazis did. Educate them. Show them what happens when hate overcomes fear. Show them what really happened in Nazi Europe in the 1940s. Make them understand the pain and the suffering. Please make them stop repeating history. Will we ever learn? It must never happen again. --------------------------------------- From: Simon Gleave (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Fri, 17 Feb 95 13:20:31 GMT So, after a number of years of complacency, the violence and hooliganism is back both in our grounds and abroad. The last few weeks have produced the following: 25 Jan 1995 - Eric Cantona leaps into the crowd and highlights the hatred and overly aggressive nature of some sections of English football crowds. This does not excuse his behaviour in any way. 28 Jan 1995 - Millwall v Chelsea produces some fighting and a number of arrests. 1 Feb 1995 - Blackburn fan invades the pitch at the end of Blackburn's game with Leeds with the prime intention of attacking the referee. 8 Feb 1995 - Chelsea fans invade the pitch after losing on penalties to Millwall, Fulham Broadway tube station is closed for 45 minutes while fighting continues outside. 11 Feb 1995 - The Manchester derby produces numerous incidents inside the ground. 15 Feb 1995 - English thugs cause so much mayhem that the friendly against Ireland has to be abandoned. The worst trouble is clearly last night's in Ireland, but as you can see from the other incidents, the thugs have never really been driven away from football grounds. Chelsea in particular (in my experience) has large numbers of right wing groups appearing for big games handing out their leaflets on Fulham Road, gesticulating on the terraces and hurling abuse at black players. The problem has remained with us because all we have done over the past 10 years is just contain it within our own grounds - the England travel club has clearly been infiltrated because there is trouble at every England away game and friends who went to Rotterdam 18 months ago have told me that the violence that took place was orchestrated both in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Isn't it time the FA stopped pussyfooting about with this problem and took steps to deal with it - my suggestions are not solutions but they should give the FA time to deal with this problem. 1) England play NO away games whatsoever between now and WC qualifying beginning in late 1996. 2) Once the qualifying begins, no tickets are made available to any England fans whatsoever for the away ties - it hurts the ordinary fan, but how many real football fans do you know who regularly travel to England away games? 3) Jimmy Hill is unfortunately correct in believing ID cards need to be brought in - if you're an innocent football fan, what do you have to worry about? I've been attending football matches since the 70's and although I'm aware that occasionally, people are mistakenly ejected or arrested by the police, it has never happened to me in all that time, so I have to say that this is isolated. UEFA should also allow the Euro Championships to take place here because our police and stewards can deal with any possible violence better than any other country in Europe, as they're used to it. Where else do you suggest holding it? Italy or France where fans have recently been killed. Clearly, if England lose EC96, they will not be allowed to take part in any other country in Europe but this really is not the answer. However, if England are to stage this competition, something now has to be done about the ticketing arrangements: Ticketing for EC96 has been done on a package basis where people had to buy tickets for at least 3 games - these were first made available to club members (who could buy any number for each game) and then everybody (from October). This leaves the system massively open to abuse as only one person's name is attached to each set of tickets and selling spares on the black market will be rife. Therefore, I suggest the following: 1) Euro 96 must get in touch with ticket purchasers and ask who will be taking each of their tickets - they must have bought them for friends who are currently paying for them. If no name is forthcoming, then those tickets are taken away. 2) Once each ticket sold has a name attached to it, ID can be asked for when entering the ground and if it doesn't line up with the name on the ticket, entrance is refused. OK, this is a pain in the arse for people but who cares? I want to watch a football match in the sort of atmosphere I enjoyed in the World Cup in the US and not be surrounded by people giving Nazi salutes and fighting with opposition fans. If these measures cannot be taken, then England should lose EC96 and also be thrown out of the competition. The fascist perpetrators of last night's disturbances must be taken out of our stadiums before they ruin the game I love. =========================== 2. Italy v England Violence =========================== Subject: Italy v England Violence Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 16:12:52 +0100 From: Simon Gleave
Unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of talk about the violence at Italy v England on Saturday. It does look (for a change) as though my delightful countrymen did not deserve the beating that they took from the Italian police. People can complain on this newsgroup that the Italian police were out of order but the fact is that their actions are completely understandable and until the people that follow England start behaving in a more suitable manner when visiting somebody else's country, these attitudes will always remain. The initial problem is that England supporters have a reputation. This was built up over many years as thugs went rampaging all over Europe whenever England played. There were also similar scenes when our clubs played in Europe which culminated in the horrific night at Heysel 12 years ago. There is no question that things have been cleaned up over here over the last few years but as England only play in (say) Italy once or twice every 10 years, they are likely to still remember our fans in the same way. Unfortunately this is then perpetuated by some of the supporters who visit. They spend the day (or days) before a match drinking heavily, behaving in a boorish manner and generally pissing off the local inhabitants. (This sort of thing might be OK here in England but it isn't OK to do this in Rome, Paris or many of the other likely destinations for England games). Once they arrive at the stadium, stories have got around about their behaviour to the fans of the hosting country. The reputation of the England fans as the kings of hooliganism and their behaviour during the day makes these fans angry and trouble breaks out. As the police tend to also be young men from the host country, many of them are probably not averse to weighing in with the odd baton charge given the provocation. Unfortunately, because of the island mentality of my nation, their behaviour in the day prior to the match is unlikely to change meaning that many England fans who don't indulge in any of this are tarred with the same brush. What happened on Saturday will happen time and time again until the English learn to respect other people's countries. ------------------------------------- Subject: Re: Italy v England Violence Date: 15 Oct 1997 09:30:43 +0200 From: Steve Jones I both agree and disagree with you here. The point I have been endavouring to make over the last year here on RSS is that while there is still a problem with English fans there is an equal, if not greater, problem with fans of lots of other countries. The police forces in those countries prefer to ignore the problems rather than tackle them. When the English fans arrive they have no training or experience in how to deal with a small number of possible thugs, the govern their actions by "reputation" failing to note that their own fans have an equal, or worse, reputation. This leads to heavy handed tactics and police brutality. France'98 could be the worst example of this. There _is_ violence in stadiums in France, those ditches and fences are not there just for show or because they look pretty. However the CRS and other police troops do nothing, this way there are no arrests and hence they can ignore the problem, next year however they have the "easy" target of the England fans, they have no training or experience in dealing with hooliganism because they have ignored the problem at home, thus they will (as the police in Italy did) assume that _all_ English fans are thugs and treat (beat) them accordingly. I don't wish to overdramatise this but the CRS are not known for a softly softly approach to policing anyway, they handled the Tournoi fairly well, but even then could have caused problems under the guise of a "joke". I am an England fan, I've also travelled to many of the big stadiums in Europe to witness games, and I've seen things in those stadiums (throwing of objects onto the pitch and blatent overt racism) that would _never_ be allowed in a UK stadium, and yet the authorities do nothing. Yet when England fans arrive they do not even have to step out of line inorder to be clubbed. If the Italian police had faced up to the problems with the Ultras years ago the scences at the weekend would have been avoided as they would have been a proffessional force well trained in dealing with small amounts of trouble makers. If you have seen (as most UK fans have seen) a grab squad of police pulling out ringleaders you will know how little trouble and how effective it is. Attacking people with batons is adding to not reducing the problem. ================================= Subject: England should withdraw? Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 12:32:23 +0100 From: Simon Gleave Kevin has suggested that because of the reputation of England fans, the team should withdraw from the World Cup in 1998. Why? Why should the players suffer because of the attitudes of a few brain dead morons? Why should we all suffer because policing when England play is over zealous? An argument to withdraw is a surrender to the hooligan mentality. No, what we need is education and co-operation. Education is a long term thing but kids have to be taught that England is now part of Europe and therefore we should treat other countries with respect. It's time to put a stop to the 'Go to Benidorm, drink heavily and eat greasy English food' mentality. This, of course, should have been done years ago and probably won't ever happen. However, co-operation is very easy and must be used. Who are the best police to deal with English supporters? The English coppers - the ones who deal with them week in, week out. The ones who know the 'faces' of hooliganism. The ones who have employed snatch squads to pull the ring leaders out before anything starts. There is absolutely no point in the FA whingeing about the treatment from foreign police when seemingly, there is no cooperation to take a squad of British police off to look after our supporters. Failing this, the French police could be trained for the sorts of things that they might expect next summer. Cooperation has to take place and it must begin now. =================================== Subject: Re: ITALIAN FASCIST POLICE Date: 14 Oct 1997 15:37:32 GMT From: email@example.com (Karel Stokkermans) Steve Jones writes: > SB writes: [discussion itself deleted] > > > These events are indeed deplorable. I can't find any confirmation of the > > > Bedford thing, just some estimates. Now how is this different from the > > > stoning of team buses in Italy ? In the pitched battle between Ajax and > > > Feyenoord "fans" (I use the term loosely). > > Organised BETWEEN Ajax and Feyenoord fans. Not the random rampaging of > > the english hooligans. > Which of course makes it _much_ better ? Lets have a return to the days I think his point is that at least they were fighting (and indeed killing) each other rather than bothering innocent bystanders with it. My personal favourite solution for the Dutch hooligan problem is putting the lot of them in the Amsterdam Arena and let them fight until only one is left. They might get some decent grass growing there afterwards as well. [...] > I've been asked what nationality I was in several countries, knowing that the > wrong answer would get my head kicked in or worse. It is a sad fact that > people like this exist and are sick individuals. They need little or no > excuse to commit acts of violence like this. Why should I penalised because > of morons like this. Of course you shouldn't but life isn't perfect and English fans do have a reputation abroad, and it would be wise to take this into account. Moreover, in your earlier postings you appeared to be in a state of denial regarding recent problems with English fans - you or someone else basically relegated them to the early eighties which is plain nonsense (there were more or less serious incidents involving English fans in every major international tournament between Mexico 1986 and USA 1994). Moreover, the specific problem with England is that the violence is connected to the national team (more than to clubs) these days, whereas in most other European countries this is the opposite (certainly in the Netherlands, where especially Feyenoord have a horrid reputation, also Den Haag but they're in the second division, while the only time a problem with the national team arose was in a qualifier with Germany in Rotterdam (home of Feyenoord btw) in 1989). > I do not deny there is a problem with English fans, this problem however is > nowhere near the scale of the 70s and 80s and certainly other countries > have large problems, they just fail to admit to them. This attitude of > "Its okay to beat innocent people because hey 15 years ago they were the > worst trouble makers" makes me sick. There is no excuse for a police > force in a European country to be disorganised, to fail to prevent touting, > to fail to direct fans to the correct sections, to fail to prevent fans > (of both sides) throwing objects at each other and the pitch. To fail > to properly seperate fans, to fail to properly search ALL fans. Properly separating fans of course doesn't get easier if thousands of them travel without having a ticket and then buy them from touters. You can blame to police for not preventing touting but that's ridiculous: touting happens everywhere and isn't really easy to prevent. Fans shouldn't have left England without having a ticket for their own section, period. Where there any warning for government or FA officials clearly advising this? If not, they have whole loads of butter on their heads (translating a Dutch expression to English here...). When English fans showed up for a qualifier in the Netherlands without tickets, the Dutch police isolated them, "lodged" them for the night, and put them back on the boat after the match. It's not nice, it's not democratic but what could they do? Perhaps you'd have been happier had the Italian police done that? All that of course is no excuse for batoning innocent English fans or not acting against Italian troublemakers, but it seems pretty one-sided to put all blame on Italian police, incompetent or not. And why do so many English fans get pissed abroad? Isn't that a bit silly in a country where you're a guest, or don't they realize that the beer tends to be stronger than the ale at home and opening hours are more flexible? ======================================================== Subject: Italy-England violence: summing up the evidence Date: 16 Oct 1997 05:14:29 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marco Paserman) Let's see if we can summarize the evidence on the violence surrounding the Italy-England match, as objectively as possible. 1) English fans 10,000 English fans traveled to Rome. I believe the vast majority of these fans are decent and calm people, who would never get involved into riots of any sort. However, there was also a very small minority (70 individuals) of professional thugs and troublemakers, the types that take advantage of England matches abroad to wreak havoc in the country they visit. In addition, there was also a more substantial minority (say 5-10%) of people whom you would normally think incapable of violence; however, if you give these people a pint too many (and they don't seem to mind having a pint too many), and put them in a group with the professional hooligans where they feel they are shielded by their anonimity, these people can create the sort of minor (and still unacceptable) rioting that took place in Rome on Saturday afternoon (smashing windshields, damaging property, etc.) In addition, alcohol smelling bare bellied young males are not exactly my ideal decoration for the Barcaccia and Trevi fountains in Rome, but this is another matter. 2) Italian fans. There are Ultras in Rome who are still cursing Stuart Pearce for depriving them of the chance of having a go at the English in 1990. From reports I've read, most of the incidents involving the English came as a result of Italian Ultras trying to provoke them. The distribution of the Italian Ultras is probably similar to that of the English. Most just belong to an ultra group to chant and support their team. Some can get involved in violence if shielded by anonimity. There is a small minority of fascist, demented individuals who take advantage of football to advance their insane ideology of violence. 3) Italian Police and (dis)organization. I don't understand why the English fans were allocated to two sectors of the stadium, rather than just one. In addition, one of the sectors was adjacent to the Curva Sud, where most likely the hottest of the Italian Ultras were located. Clearly this sector saw the eruption of violence. The Italian press spent loads of ink after Heysel condemning the Belgians' organization, and then the Italian authorities committed exactly the same mistakes. The Italian police, once violence started between the two groups of fans, over-zealously and indiscriminately charged the English fans. Note however that this was not unpreparedness on the part of the Italian police: this is how Italian police has been treating football violence over the past 15 years. Add to that the reports of "the hooligans are coming" type, and you can understand the baton charges and all the rest. >From what I understand, the police did very little (if anything at all) against the Italian Ultras who started the provocation. Overall, one can argue whether the Italian method of fighting football violence is at all effective. In general, I tend to sympathize with the policemen and despise the Ultras and their fascist ideology, but I believe that violence was used indiscriminately against innocents on Saturday. 4) Italian/English press reactions. Anybody who fails to take into account all of the above factors is giving a biased and distorted view of the events. In Italy, the Gazzetta dello Sport's totally one-sided report has been shameful and offensive. Similarly, English press claiming that "our poor lads are all innocent and were treated brutally" do nothing but help flame future violence. ------------------------------------------------------------ Subject: Re: Italy-England violence: summing up the evidence Date: 16 Oct 1997 09:36:45 GMT From: email@example.com (Huw Morris) I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I agree totally with your points. Given that these are the facts, what can be learned from them for France? 1) More must be done by the British courts to stop likely offenders travelling abroad in the first place. I think they already have the power, but are reluctanct to use it unless the evidence is compelling. Unfortunately, because the police seem to have been arresting people at random from that section, simply being arrested abroad is not a good enough indicator. 2) Nobody without a ticket should be allowed anywhere near the stadium. Touts should be actively seeked out and arrested. 3) Stadium security should not mean long queues to get in. Invariably when this happens, the police panic, and just decide to let everybody in, to avoid a crush. There were a large number of English fans *with tickets* who were never asked to produce them. (Danny Kelly, editor or Total Sport magazine, and TV and radio presenter, was apparently one of them.) 4) Police should not turn a blind eye to the throwing of objects in the stands. The should wade in and arrest the perpetrators. 5) Each country should send over a contingent of maybe 200 policemen to oversee their own fans. They should have the powers to act as if on home territory with their own nationals. They should act as a buffer between the French police and the fans. ============================================ Subject: Re: English tourists riot in Brazil Date: 17 Oct 1997 15:52:02 +0200 From: Steve Jones firstname.lastname@example.org (Kenny Green) writes: > All the racist chants in Europe, or objects thrown on the fields (a normal > occurrence particularly in Spain...) wont change those perceptions (which > happen to be fact) Now I may be naive, but England fans have a bad reputation some of it deserved, some of it exagerated. BUT this last bit is exactly my point, Spain, Italy and France all have what I would describe as a massive hooligan problem. From flares thrown on the pitch to openly racist portions of fans. In the year against racism how are FN "fans" allowed to parade openly at the Parc des Princes. At least the English authorities have faced up to their responsiblities and endavoured to tackle these problems. By posting things like this I am attempting to redress the balance and make people look closer at what goes on in their own stadiums, I condemn outright hooliganism of all sort and all nationalities. Several people on RSS however have an attitude that hooliganism is soley an English problem and that the throwing of flares onto the pitch or bottles at opposing fans is just part of an everyday footballing experience, well its not it is hooliganism, if it happened in a UK stadium these people would be arrested, but because the police and the authorities in France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Turkey find it much more politic just to ignore the problem there are no arrests. No arrests means no statistics which means (according to the authorities) no problem. I acknowledge there is a problem in the UK and the thugs at Boro deserve locking up, and I would say Boro deserve a hearing infront of the FA and possible penalties (ala Arsenal in the season they won the league). In France last year when a linesman was hit by a bottle the club chairman claimed "this has nothing to do with the club the police should deal with the person and that should be the end of it.". And I'm still not sure that the person responsible was arrested. I'd better stop going on about this now as I'm sure people are heartily sick of me. I've made my point, of course when the next "all English fans are thugs" comes out I reserve the right to start again. In conclusion 1) Hooliganism is a problem in many European countries and in South America 2) Only two police forces in Europe (Germany and UK) have faced up to and dealt with their hooligan element, to great effect. 3) Bottle throwing, flare throwing, coin and seat throwing are hooliganism. 4) In all countries it is only a small minority of the fans that _cause_ trouble and a larger minority who then get involved. 5) The vast majority of fans are not hooligans, which ever country they come from. 6) The most effective way of dealing with hooliganism is by targeting the hooligans not the crowd. ======================================================== Subject: England fans cleared, Italian hooligans blamed. From: Steve Jones Date: Dec 3, 1997 http://www.sporting-life.com/soccer/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=soccer/97/12/02/SOCCER_Rome.html&TEAMHD=soccer&TEAMHDX=53 World governing body FIFA today agreed with the Football Association's verdict that the crowd trouble at October's Italy versus England match was mainly the fault of the Roman authorities. Rival fans clashed during the match in the Olympic Stadium, in which England's 0-0 draw ensured qualification for next summer's World Cup Finals. The FA's response was a report which accused the Italian police of "deliberate intimidation" of English fans and the stadium authorities of a lack of proper stewarding. [..] In an official statement released after today's meeting of the World Cup Organising Committee, FIFA said: "We acknowledge that there were lessons to be learned with regard to better control of tickets to fans through unauthorised channels. "While FIFA did not have authority over the police forces, the methods used by the police should be better adapted to the specific requirements of football." [..] [on the subject of fences] "Spectators in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have shown that when the fences are taken down they are not aggressive - when fans are aggressive it is because they are behind fences." --------- So basically the British method of policing should be the one followed. Hopefully France will remain true to its word on this issue.