Letter:Football's new war zone

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The Independent Online
From Mr Terry O'Neill

Sir: I am an Irishman who has lived, very happily, in England for a number of years. I watched the match at Lansdowne Road with an English friend who stated, unequivocally, that England should no longer host the European Championship. I believe he is wrong.

For a start, we Irish and every other non-English football supporter know that the 50 to 200 thugs are not representative of the English ethic, sense of fair play and general decency. I am glad we don't have their like in Ireland; I am sad they exist in England. But they are expendable. They are a small voice crying against the wind of popular opinion.

They won a battle. They prevented more than 40,000 people, including 4,000 genuine English travelling fans, from enjoying what was a potentially intriguing game. They should not be allowed to win the war. They have no interest in football. England should host the European Championship, secure in the knowledge that they know who the troublemakers are.

Yours sincerely,

TERRY O'NEILL

London, N6

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