British police will deploy in Germany to tackle hooligans

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The Independent Football

The Minister for Sport Richard Caborn believes England's hardcore hooligans will be prevented from travelling to the World Cup after 3,500 banning orders were issued.

England's worst troublemakers will be barred from leaving the country and those who do risk travelling to Germany will find British police waiting for them at ports, airports and railway stations. Caborn revealed yesterday that, for the first time in a football tournament, British police would be operational on foreign soil to try to stop hooligans overshadowing England's participation.

"I don't think we have ever had a football competition anywhere in the world which such detailed work has gone into," Caborn said. "With the cooperation of the German authorities, we are putting our own police on the ground out there, which is the first time we have ever done that.

"They will not just be advising, they will be operational and it is the first time we've had that clearance. There are certain arrests they can make, but they will be working with the German police very closely.

"The banning orders, which number about 3,500, will take out the core of what we see as the main troublemakers. This was effective in Euro 2004 and, hopefully, it will work in Germany.

"I have no doubts the genuine fans want to go and get behind the England team, so I hope none of these hooligans are going to try and distract us from that."

Caborn also believes Sven Goran Eriksson is taking England's strongest team into the World Cup finals since Bobby Moore lifted the trophy on home soil in 1966. The minister feels they can overcome the loss of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, should he fail to recover sufficiently from his now famous metatarsal injury.

He said: "Everybody has said, and I agree, we are probably sending the strongest squad we've had since 1966.

"Speaking to the England coach Sven Goran Eriksson - he believes there is a very, very good chance of us winning the World Cup.

"Obviously injuries are always a problem as we have seen with Wayne Rooney and we'll have to see how that heals. We would be better with him but I would not discount us if he does not play."