Violence Likely to Extend English Soccer Club Ban

From Associated Press

English clubs probably won't be allowed back in European competition this fall after renewed violence at the World Cup, Lennart Johansson, president of Europe's governing soccer federation, said today.

"They will probably have to wait one more year," said Johansson, UEFA president. "I've heard about fans throwing rocks at police officers and several fans being arrested. There seems to be no end to this and it is all very sad."

The UEFA president said he was expecting a report on Saturday's clash between English fans and Italian police in Sardinia from Harry Cavan, vice president of FIFA, the governing body for international soccer.

"But it doesn't look good for the English clubs being readmitted into European cup tournaments this season," Johansson said.

About 1,000 English fans clashed with Italian police Saturday in Cagliari before the game between England and the Netherlands. The fans hurled stones and bottles at the police, who used tear gas and truncheons to disperse the crowd.

Johansson said he was pleased that there was no violence during or after the game. The estimated 14,000 English and Dutch fans were segregated in the stands during the match.

The British government must give its go ahead for the English clubs' reentry into the Champions Cup, the Cupwinners Cup and the UEFA Cup, Europe's three annual club soccer tournaments.

Colin Moynihan, Britain's minister of sport, will file a report about the English fans' behavior to the government after the World Cup is over.

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