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Dublin: 7°C Monday 1 March 2021

Police taking 'triple measures' to stop banned English fans travelling to Ireland friendly

Over 1,800 fans are subject to football banning orders.

Shane Long scored when Ireland and England last met in a 2013 friendly at Wembley.
Shane Long scored when Ireland and England last met in a 2013 friendly at Wembley.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

UK POLICE ARE cracking down on hundreds of English football’s bad boys ahead of next month’s friendly against Ireland.

The game on 7 June marks England’s return to Dublin for the first time since the infamous 1995 clash which was abandoned amid rioting from some visiting supporters.

Police have stepped up security and announced that they will take triple measures to prevent fans who are subject to football banning orders from travelling.

The move follows a “significant amount” of disorderly behaviour at England’s last four away fixtures, the National Police Chiefs Council said on Tuesday. 1,875 fans are currently affected by banning orders though the “vast majority” of those relate to disorder at domestic games rather than at internationals.

As well as surrendering their passports, these fans will have to attend a police station on match day and sign to confirm their attendance. It is the first time in four years that this additional requirement has been necessary.

In addition, all members of England’s official supporters travelling club will be required to collect their tickets in Dublin with a photo ID.

“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,” Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts said.

We have been able to tell overseas police colleagues that they will not encounter the sort of problems that used to be associated with England fans.

“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.”

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