Old enemies to meet at Wembley

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The Independent Online
The draw for the 16-nation European Championship finals yesterday revived football's oldest rivalry when England were drawn to play Scotland at Wembley.

The resumption of a 107-game tradition which began in 1872 drew gasps at the ceremony in Birmingham and 15 June is writ large in fans' diaries north and south of the border.

"We always knew it was going to be exciting; but when Scotland came out, it went off like a rocket. You could feel the buzz in the room," Terry Venables, the England coach, said.

England-Scotland games were abandoned after the 1989 Glasgow match because of crowd trouble. Incidents included a riot by Scottish fans who invaded the Wembley pitch, dug up turf and broke wooden crossbars. There were also other problems involving fans en route with many arrests in central London after Wembley visits, which ended in 1988.

However, Glen Kirton, the tournament director charged with overseeing the biggest football event in England since the 1966 World Cup, welcomed the Scots "with open arms". The Scotland manager, Craig Brown, said, "I can virtually guarantee there will be no trouble from Scottish fans," he said.

The match is sandwiched between the opening match against Switzerland, on 8 June, and the tournament favourites, the Netherlands, on 18 June.

The draw's other main highlight was Germany's being placed in the same group as Italy. The European champions, Denmark, take on Croatia, Turkey and Portugal.

Full draw, Sports Section

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