Belgium refuses entry to UK neo-Nazis before crucial game

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The Independent Online

Three members of the neo-Nazi Combat 18 group were intercepted by Belgian police yesterday on their way to England's game with Germany in the Euro 2000 football championships.

Three members of the neo-Nazi Combat 18 group were intercepted by Belgian police yesterday on their way to England's game with Germany in the Euro 2000 football championships.

The neo-Nazis, identified as they arrived in Brussels from Heathrow, were among dozens of suspected England hooligans turned back yesterday as they tried to reach this evening's match in Charleroi.

Paul Parish, 32, Paul Holliday, 37, and Nicholas Marsh, 34, all from Milton Keynes, were said by the National Criminal Intelligence Service to be well-known Combat 18 members. They have 61 previous convictions between them, many for violent offences, though none is believed to be football-related.

Four more fans were arrested on a Eurostar train for fighting American tourists on their way to Brussels. Up to six other fans on the same train were also sent home.

German officials intercepted 29 suspected hooligans from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, at Düsseldorf airport yesterday and sent them back. Three Aston Villa supporters were turned back at the Belgian port of Ostend.

The total of English fans sent back in the tournament's first week has risen to about 50, with 18 arrests. Other interceptions included two men from Oldham and Bolton, who had football-related convictions, two fans from Brighton and one from Oxford.

British authorities believe 30,000 England fans may head for Charleroi, though only between 5,000 and 6,000 will havetickets. Belgian police will have 3,000 officers on duty during the day and bars will only sell draught in plastic glasses.

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