Europe plans broad steps to halt soccer violence
Twenty-one European nations plan to produce a set of legally binding measures to wipe out soccer rioting by fans and hooligans. Impetus for the move came from last month's soccer tragedy in Brussels in which 38 spectators died in a clash between English and Italian fans. English teams have been banned from playing in Europe. Yet a conclusion drawn from the Brussels riot is that a ban on English teams alone will not solve the broad problem of soccer violence.
A steering group of seven European countries is preparing a series of measures including banning alcohol, tightening stadium security, and restricting ticket sales. Sports ministers met in Amsterdam Tuesday and will ask all 21 member states of the Council of Europe to enforce the new code.
Meanwhile Belgian and British police have been working together to try to identify the English fans responsible for the riot and deaths in Brussels.
Scrutiny of video films is believed to have yielded the names of as many as 40 people whom the police wish to interview. If any of those people are charged, they will probably be extradited to Belgium and tried there.