Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said today that she was dismayed at the re-emergence of English hooliganism and that her government asked soccer officials to cancel a visit by the national team to the Netherlands in December.
As Thatcher spoke in Dundee, Scotland, Swedish police hustled hundreds of English fans out of their country after a night of vandalism and fighting that resulted in more than 200 arrests.
"I am always horrified if there is any difficulty with football fans abroad," Thatcher said. "It's really a disgrace to Britain when fans behave like that."
Hours after she spoke, Sports Minister Colin Moynihan officially asked the Football Assn. to cancel an exhibition match between England and Holland set for Dec. 13 in Rotterdam.
In a letter to Football Assn. Chairman Bert Millichip, Moynihan sought to call off the match "in the interests of the future of English football and of the country as a whole."
Police in Stockholm said 102 Englishmen and 106 Swedes were arrested before and after the World Cup qualifying game Wednesday night in which England and Sweden played to a scoreless tie.