Record number of hooligans banned from Euro 2004

Record numbers of football troublemakers will be banned from travelling to Portugal this summer for Euro 2004, the Home Office in England said today.

Record numbers of football troublemakers will be banned from travelling to Portugal this summer for Euro 2004, the Home Office in England said today.

A total of 2,188 people are currently banned from going to domestic or international football matches, Home Office minister Caroline Flint said.

She said any other fans who had previously caused trouble and were felt by police to pose a continuing risk could also be prevented from leaving the UK or entering Portugal.

Ms Flint said the figure of 2,188 compared to only 100 for Euro 2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands.

She said: “There will be an extensive police ports operation prior to the tournament to identify any potential troublemakers and the Portuguese have made clear that anyone else who is known to pose a risk to public order will be denied entry.

“We believe we’ve done everything we can to ensure a safe and enjoyable tournament.

“We have pulled out all the stops to prevent hooligans from travelling to Portugal.

“Everyone involved wants it to be a genuine festival of football.”

Portuguese authorities are restoring border controls they scrapped in 1991, bringing back passport checks and vehicle searches and they have strengthened security at key transport hubs.

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