Arsenal bans fans after violence at Copenhagen match

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The Independent Online

Thirty-seven Arsenal fans have been banned from going to games at the London club's Highbury ground this season because of violence before a European cup match in Copenhagen in May.

Thirty-seven Arsenal fans have been banned from going to games at the London club's Highbury ground this season because of violence before a European cup match in Copenhagen in May.

The club has written to the fans after they were picked out as troublemakers in photograph and television footage taken during unrest before the Uefa Cup final.

Believed to be among the Gunners' fans who have been banned is Tom Doherty, of London, who was sacked from his job as a postman after pictures showed his involvement in the rampage. The club said officials were still trying to identify thugs caught on camera before the final against the Turkish club Galatasaray.

An Arsenal spokesman said yesterday: "We have banned 37 fans as a direct result of Copenhagen and they will not be welcome at Highbury this season. Supporters of this club are generally very well behaved. This represents a very small minority." The hooligans will be banned for at least one season, some for longer.

Two Leeds fans were murdered by Galatasaray fans in Turkey a month before the violence in Copenhagen, where hooligans were believed to have travelled to avenge the deaths.

Leeds United plans to ban fans identified as causing trouble in clashes at the Uefa semi-final in Istanbul. A Leeds spokesman said: "We have identified at least three troublemakers and they will banned in due course."

It now looks unlikely that fans deported from the Netherlands and Belgium during later trouble at Euro 2000 will face bans from domestic fixtures. A National Criminal Intelligence Service spokesman said such banning orders could only be enforced if troublemakers had been charged with an offence.

"We urged the Dutch and Belgian authorities to make arrests and charges but they did not do this... so our hands are tied as far as the law goes," the spokesman said.

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