3,000 hooligans banned from World Cup travel
More than 3,000 football hooligans will be banned from travelling to South Africa for the World Cup, the Government confirmed today.
Measures to stop troublemakers who are currently barred from watching matches from going to the tournament this summer will be passed in the Commons in the coming weeks, according to the Home Office.
The step will allow Home Secretary Alan Johnson to impose a "control period" on approximately 3,200 hooligans who are currently subject to banning orders.
Banning orders prevent hooligans from attending football matches in England and mean they have to surrender their passports to police before international football matches.
But in order to apply the sanction for the month-long duration of the World Cup, Mr Johnson has to lay a statutory instrument before Parliament, a Home Office spokesman said.
The powers are part of the process whereby officials try to prevent England fans from being able to cause trouble during international events, he added.
"Football banning orders have proved highly effective in preventing known risk fans from travelling overseas to football matches," the spokesman said.
"There has been no significant violence at any England match or tournament played overseas since 2000 when the current football disorder strategy was introduced along with very tough banning order legislation.
"The behaviour of English fans has improved dramatically in recent years and there is nothing to suggest that that people will travel with the intention of causing problems.
"However, there is no complacency.
"Police will monitor all England fans on departure and intercept any known to pose a risk of violence or disorder, and we are working closely with South African authorities to help minimise any safety and security risks associated with hosting a major football tournament."
Figures released by the Home Office last month revealed the number of football hooligans arrested by the police fell last season.
There were 3,752 arrests at matches in England and Wales - a fall of 2 per cent on the 2007/8 season.
Half were for disorder and around a third for alcohol offences. Other arrests were for ticket touting and violence.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
Liverpool transfer news: James Milner nearing Anfield switch, but club baulk at £32.5m Christian Benteke release clause
Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
Arsenal fan asks the Queen for tickets to the FA Cup final - gets a reply from Buckingham Palace
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history