Republic of Ireland match: Crackdown on banned England fans

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Missiles were thrown down from the West Stand at Dublin's Lansdowne Road in 1995Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Missiles were thrown down from the West Stand at Dublin's Lansdowne Road in 1995

England football fans who have been banned from matches face additional enforcement measures to stop them going to next week's game in Dublin.

England will play against the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on 7 June.

UK police are taking action because of a "deterioration in fan behaviour" during England's last four away games.

Banned England fans will have to sign in at a police station on match day, in addition to the usual requirement of surrendering their passports.

Football Banning Orders

Twenty years ago, a match between England and the Republic of Ireland in Dublin was billed as a friendly, yet turned into a riot.

Forty people were arrested after seats were ripped up and missiles thrown during the first half of the game at Lansdowne Road on 15 February 1995.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
An injured Irish fan being helped during the 1995 riot at an England v Republic of Ireland march in Dublin

The National Police Chiefs' Council said it is working closely with An Garda Síochána (Irish police) to prevent any fan trouble ahead of next week's fixture in Dublin's Aviva stadium.

The officer leading the UK's football policing operations, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, said it will be the first time in four years that the additional enforcement measures have been re-introduced against fans subjected to Football Banning Orders.

'Anti-social behaviour'

"It has been a point of pride in recent years that England fans' behaviour has completely moved on from the dark days of the 1980s," he said.

"While the majority of fans continue to behave themselves, in the last four England away fixtures we have seen a significant amount of drunken anti-social behaviour, unpleasant chanting aimed at provoking home supporters and a small number of people who seem to take every opportunity to create distress for others.

"Regrettably that means we have to increase our enforcement activity using tactics that proved successful in addressing these problems in the past."

Image source, PA
Image caption,
UK press coverage of the 1995 football riot in Dublin

'Serious sanctions'

In addition, he said football policing "spotters" from England will go to Dublin and the Aviva stadium to "gather evidence of any bad behaviour and ensure anyone who offends faces the consequences of their actions".

All official England Supporters Travelling Club members will be required to collect their tickets in person in Dublin with photographic identification.

ACC Roberts said: "I am in regular contact with the FA and other partners in the football community and, while there is no specific intelligence as yet to suggest planned disorder there is sufficient concern to take proactive action to ensure that fans are clear that bad behaviour is not acceptable and will face serious sanctions."

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