08/10/2003

England fans warned to stay away from Istanbul clash

The Foreign Office has today strongly advised England fans not to travel to this weekend's Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul.

The advice follows up on Uefa's decision to ban England fans from travelling to Turkey after serious clashes involving both sets of fans at the first leg tie in Sunderland last April.

Whilst England fans will be aware of the official advice to stay away from the match, many have already pre-paid for flights and hotel rooms for the clash.

Turkish authorities have put in place a number of measures to prevent English fans from getting into the ground. Also, British nationals have been warned that if they travel to Turkey with the intention of watching the match, they will be refused permission to enter the country.

Baroness Symons, Foreign Office Minister for Consular Affairs, said: "We strongly urge any England supporters who might be considering travelling to England's Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in Istanbul on 11 October not to do so for safety reasons.

"We understand that every possible measure will be taken by the host authorities to prevent English fans from gaining access to the stadium. Only on presentation of a valid Turkish ID card and match ticket will supporters be allowed to enter the ground. Any English fan who attempts to breach the cordon or is spotted in the ground will be removed to a secure holding area."

The FA released a statement at the end of September – shortly after Uefa's decision to place restrictions on the fixture – sympathising with fans, but agreed that the ban was "in the interests of the game".

The FA statement read: "Please do not put our country in a position where our players' and coaches' efforts are undermined by problems off the pitch. Please ensure we do not have to face the shame and indignity of expulsion from a major tournament. On behalf of The FA and all of the England players and coaches, please respect our request for England fans not travel to Istanbul."

(gmcg)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 June 2004
Eleven England fans deported following Monday riot
A Portuguese judge has sentenced a 46-year-old England football fan to two years in prison for his part in a riot in the Algarve. Gary Mann, from Faversham in Kent, will be deported to serve the custodial sentence in an English jail. Ten other English fans arrested will also face deportation. One further England supporter was found not guilty.
21 January 2014
21-Year-Old Arrested At Stansted On Terrorism Offences
Police have arrested a man at Stansted airport on suspicion of terrorism offences. The 21-year-old was detained by Counter Terrorism Command officers as he returned to the UK from Istanbul, Turkey, via Stuttgart, Germany. He is suspected of involvement in the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism, Scotland Yard have said.
11 June 2003
England fans told to be on best behaviour
The English Football Association has repeated its warning to fans that there will be "serious consequences" if there is any racial or violent behaviour at England's Euro 2004 qualifier in Middlesbrough this evening.
29 May 2003
Captain Becks calls for calm from England supporters
England captain David Beckham is expected to make a televised appeal to fans to behave when they attend future internationals.
03 February 2009
Commuters Face Delays As Big Freeze Continues
Commuters are to face further disruption as Britain's 'Big freeze' continues to spread chaos across the country. Forecasters have warned northern England, Scotland and Wales could be battered with the worst of the wintry conditions, which yesterday affected bus, train and air travel and saw hundreds of schools closed.