Chelsea seek good conduct

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The Independent Online
Chelsea yesterday insisted that their fans will "restore some English pride" at next week's European Cup-Winners' Cup quarter-final first leg against Club Bruges in Belgium. The match - an 18,000 sell-out - is the first overseas excursion by English supporters since last week's events in Dublin.

Security will be high for Tuesday's game - and a team of Metropolitan Police officers will be on hand to liaise with local security officials.

Chelsea's 2,100 allocation went to identifiable supporters who are travelling on club-organised packages, and Club Bruges have said they will be operating a strict segregation policy.

"The club and genuine fans realise the visit to Bruges, because of recent events, will be under the microscope," Chelsea's managing director, Colin Hutchinson, said.

"On the evidence of two earlier European trips [to Jablonec in the Czech Republic and Vienna] we believe the 2,100 travelling with the club will not tarnish the image of Chelsea or English football."

Arrangements have taken the form of a military operation and club officials, together with an observer from the Football Association and police officers, visited Belgium in early January for a planning meeting which was also attended by the British Consul and Bruges police.

The list of those sold tickets has been vetted against files of known troublemakers - and one fan has been banned from going to the game after being ejected against Tottenham this season.