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Britain’s Soccer Thugs Get Travel Ban

Posted May. 27, 2006 03:00,   


The British government will prohibit U.K. hooligans from traveling to Germany during the 2006 World Cup. British Minister of Sports Richard Caborn said in an interview with the Associated Press on May 26, "The 3,500 individuals convicted of hooligan-related activity in the past six years will be stopped at the airport, seaport, and train stations.”

The U.K. government has taken the same measures in the past, namely in the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup and Euro 2004, responding to the ruckus created by the homegrown hooligans in the 1998 France World Cup and Euro 2000. Additionally, for the first time in history, the British police force will be dispatched to Germany, in order to prevent unruly behaviors of its citizenry on foreign soil.

Korea does its part in lending a hand in preventing unforeseen threats or acts of terrorism that could take place during the World Cup. The Counter-Terrorism Information Center, run by the National Intelligence Service (NIS), will provide education on conduct and behavior to 500 attendees at the launching party of the Germany World Cup Cheering Squad on May 27. On May 29, the center will invite the leaders of corporate supporters and cultural event attendees for a briefing session. NIS will also print and distribute 2,000 copies of a booklet titled, “A Guide for World Cup Attendees.”

German national team coach Juergen Klinsmann took a sigh of relief after a close call of an injury of the team’s captain Michael Ballack (30, Chelsea). According to the German Press Agency, Ballack injured an ankle during a practice game with a youth team on May 26. Fortunately, his injury was not a serious one and would not require more than two or three days of rest. Ballack will not attend the practice match against Luxemburg on May 27.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com