It is the hooligans who bring football into disrepute, not Cantona : LE TTERS

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The Independent Online
From Mr John Seely Sir: Martin Whitfield's report from Crystal Palace after the sending-off of Eric Cantona ("Palace offer Frenchman no sympathy", 27 January), neatly illustrates two symptoms of the "English disease".

Matthew Simmons, the man Cantona attacked, is said by his companion at the game, Michael Pickett, to have shouted, "Dirty French bastard, fuck off home to France". He then gave "an obscene gesticulation".

Such lively wit is, of course, not entirely unknown at English football matches. But Mr Pickett clearly did not perceive the irony of his next remark to your reporter: "I have never seen anything like it. There was a dear old lady in front of me ... It's

afamily enclosure there. He should be deported."

I wonder how Mr Pickett thinks people should behave in "a family enclosure" - and what kind of language "dear old ladies" like to hear shouted over their heads during a football match.

Yours sincerely, JOHN SEELY Fownhope, Hereford

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