Scots 'racists' attack England football fans

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The Independent Online

Two violent attacks on England football fans in Scotland, one involving a seven-year-old boy, have been condemned by Tony Blair.

The Prime Minister said the assaults in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, which are being treated as racist, were "appalling and totally unjustifiable". The assaults were also condemned by the Scottish National Party and the First Minister, Jack McConnell.

The first happened in an Edinburgh park on Saturday when Hugo Clapshaw, seven,was punched in the head by a man aged between 24 and 30 who was wearing a Rangers top.

The boy, whose family come from New Zealand and have been living in Edinburgh for two years, said: "I just felt this big whack and I started crying. His eyes looked very fierce. He whacked me on the head very, very hard and it's left a big bruise. It was maybe because I had an England shirt on. He told my dad I should be supporting Scotland, not England."

His father, Damon Clapshaw, 34, was then punched in the face by the man. He said: "Hugo still wants to wear his England top to support a British team. He's a kilted Kiwi." Lothian and Borders police said the incident was "cowardly and pathetic".

The second attack happened place on Tuesday before England's game with Sweden. Ian Smith, 41, a retired postman who has been living in Aberdeen for 12 years, was dragged from his car and beaten up. Mr Smith said: "He [the attacker] was a psychopath, it was a totally unprovoked racist attack because I was wearing an England top and displaying an England flag."

The attacker was described as a man in his early 40s, muscular, 5ft 6in tall, and wearing a donkey jacket.