UEFA Admit Mistakes

Last updated : 26 June 2007 By Footy Mad - Editor
UEFA director of communications William Gaillard: "I understand the feelings of English fans and it's true that sometimes they are probably unfairly targeted because of the past and because of lingering memories of what happened in the 1980s.

"It is also true that such patterns of behaviour of English fans abroad cause problems that are different from the problems caused by foreign fans.

"Drinking, for example, is often absent in southern Europe. In southern Europe, you have another type of violence, linked often to extremist political movements or racist groups, which are really serious problems.

"But some southern European police forces are just not used to fans that have been drinking a bit too much.

"It's a different way to celebrate, if you like.

"The issue of stewarding, which is much more developed in the UK in general than on the Continent - or at least in some parts of the Continent like the south and the south east - of course deserves a lot of attention.

"But one has to also take into account that even when stewards accompany fans abroad, they are in a different environment and also in a stadium that they don't really know and also with fans they don't really know.

"What works beautifully in most English stadia is that the stewards are always stewarding the same area of the stadium and they know the fans by their first name. That makes things a lot easier.

"It's a question of both sides understanding where the other is coming from.

"There should be no tolerance to racism. In north western Europe, the issue has disappeared - at least, it has been repressed so hard."

Meanwhile ...

One person died, 41 people were injured and 78 arrested as the second-leg of Argentina's promotion/relegation play-off between Nueva Chicago and Tigre was marred by violence.

Leading 2-1 in the game and 3-1 on aggregate, Tigre were on course to be promoted to Argentina's top flight when they were awarded an injury-time penalty.

However, the visitors were prevented from taking the spot kick that would have confirmed their ascension as Nueva Chicago's fans invaded the pitch.

The situation soon descended into chaos as a fight that began inside the Nueva Chicago Stadium spilled onto the streets, causing a large traffic jam on General Paz Avenue.

The 41-year-old man, who was not named, died after being hit on the head by a stone thrown by a supporter according to reports.