French curb soccer louts

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As host of the 1998 World Cup, France is cracking down on soccer hooligans with fines and prison terms to punish violence and neo-Nazism, AP reports from Paris. A law approved by the National Assembly provides for punishing those provoking hate and violence toward the referee, players or anyone else with a year in jail and a fine of 100,000 francs ( pounds 11,800). The same will apply to those bringing, wearing or displaying racist or xenophobic emblems in stadiums, an attempt to root out neo-Nazis who use soccer violence as a cover. Drunkenness is punishable by a Fr50,000 fine and a year in jail. Violent offenders can be barred from matches for five years.