European Press Slam English Behavior at Euro 2000

Published June 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The reaction from the press around Europe on Sunday was one of disgust after the disgraceful scenes brought on by English hooligans before and after England's historic 1-0 win over arch rivals Germany in Charleroi which led to 450 arrests. 

The Turkish press whose supporters are no angels themselves accused English fans of "spreading terror" as they did when Arsenal supporters clashed with Galatasaray fans before the UEFA Cup final on May 17 in Copenhagen. 

"The same hooligans who attacked Galatasaray fans in Copenhagen this time confronted the Belgian police" claimed Turkish daily Sabah. 

They are like a "terrorist organization" declared the same paper. 

Six hours before Saturday's kickoff fighting broke out between rival gangs in Charleroi, the small town hosting the match. 

Drunken supporters went on the rampage in the main square in the early afternoon as tension built between the English, Germans, and Belgian Turks who hurled insults at each other.  

Sadly it was to get worse as television pictures showed sickening images of running street battles which forced riot police to intervene with water cannons. 

"Terrified Europe" screamed the headline in another Turkish paper Milliyet claiming that the English had provoked fire and blood in Brussels and Charleroi. 

"Savages" deplored the headline in Spanish sports daily AS who like the rest of the Spanish press devoted much of their Euro coverage to the violent outbreaks brought on by the English and German thugs. 

"Violence is replacing football" according to another Spanish daily El Mundo who had a front page picture depicting bare-chested supporters throwing chairs. 

"The hooligans are overshadowing Euro" insisted the same paper. 

Most of the Italian papers devoted all or part of their front page to the ugly brawls that have become all to familiar to the football world and in particular England. 

"Nightmare at Charleroi" was the headline in one of Italy's most important daily's Le Corriere della Sera.  

Austria's Sunday paper The Kurier headlined its report with "374 trails of destructions" in reference to the same number of English fans who were arrested for hooliganism and vandalism in Brussels. 

It reported that the English had made particular use of racist language and songs as they made trouble in the city.  

"Hundreds of English hooligans.... attacked police and onlookers. Belgians of north African origin were particularly a target of English violence. An African woman...may even have been raped," reported the same paper – (AFP)

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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