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Flare kills football fan at World Cup qualifying match

A FOOTBALL fan was killed by a flare after last night's World Cup qualifying match between Wales and Romania in Cardiff.

The flare was fired across the pitch into the North Stand at the final whistle after Wales had lost 2-1 and seen their dreams of a trip to next year's World Cup finals in America ruined. The victim was reported to have been an elderly man. A witness said: 'It hit him with a hell of a force. It must have hit him straight in the neck.'

In London, the switchboard at the BBC was jammed with calls from viewers complaining about the decision to stop coverage of the England-San Marino match half an hour before its end, in order to show the Cardiff match.

A spokeswoman said that an editiorial decision was taken to show the most interesting game at that stage. About 200 calls were received complaining about the switch.

The Republic of Ireland qualified after drawing 1-1 with Northern Ireland in Belfast. England, who beat San Marino 7-1, were eliminated after rivals Holland beat Poland 3-1.

Match reports, pages 43 and 44