Turkish fans can come to Leeds despite killings

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The Independent Online

Galatasaray fans will be allowed to attend the UEFA Cup semi-final return at Elland Road despite the deaths of the two Leeds United supporters.

UEFA are confident that the West Yorkshire Police will be able to ensure there is no repeat of the trouble which has totally overshadowed tonight's first leg in Istanbul.

A UEFA spokeswoman said: "As far as we know the Galatasaray fans will go to the second leg, although the exact number will be determined by Leeds.

"We fully trust the English authorities and we feel that they are capable of taking care of the situation.

"They have proved themselves capable in the past, especially during Euro 96, and we have every confidence that they can handle this match."

The facts surrounding the stabbings of Leeds fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight last night are still being examined and UEFA claim it is too early to say if Galatasaray would be punished.

Galatasaray claim those involved in the killings do not support the club.

Football Association executive director David Davies felt it would be wrong to point the finger at anyone at this early stage and he stressed that Lancaster Gate would do everything to assist in the investigation into the deaths.

"You are very foolish if you stand some several thousand miles away and pontificate about who is right and who is wrong," he said.

"There will be an assessment by the security advisors, by UEFA, and indeed by Leeds United and ourselves as we will all contribute to any investigation."

Leeds United Supporters Club chairman Ray Fell felt tonight's match should have been called off and he was still trying to come to terms with what had happened.

"I think football is insignificant in the present scenario and it would perhaps have been better if the game had been called off," he said.

"This is a terrible day for all Leeds United supporters. My thoughts, and those of all Leeds United fans, are with the families who sent someone to a football match who isn't coming back."