English soccer clubs will not be readmitted to European Cup tournaments as long as the British government does not support their bid, the president of the Union of European Football Assns. said today.
UEFA chief Jacques Georges of France was commenting on a statement Tuesday by Colin Moynihan, Britain’s sports minister, that a return of English clubs to European competition next season is “inconceivable” because of fan violence worries.
“We cannot run European soccer competition without government participation in security,” Georges said, reaffirming UEFA policy. “Then the responsibility would be all ours, which would be too great a risk.” UEFA’s Executive Committee, which has rejected two previous bids by England’s Football Assn. to gain readmission of its clubs, will consider the new request to lift the 4-year-old ban at an April 11-12 meeting on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
UEFA imposed the open-ended ban after 39 people were killed in a rampage by English fans at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, Belgium, before a European Champions’ Cup final between Liverpool and Italian club Juventus Turin in May, 1985.