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Soccer Hooligan Measure Passes

July 27, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ Measures to combat soccer hooliganism by English soccer fans abroad was approved Thursday in Parliament.

The bill, which awaits only the Queen’s signature, could become law next month in the wake of soccer violence by English fans during the recent European Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The law will allow police to prevent known and suspected hooligans from traveling to games abroad, a move that has drawn criticism from civil liberties campaigners who urged caution and more debate.

The British government satisfied some of that criticism by accepting a ``sunset clause,″ which could remove the law from the books in two years.

The government has been under intense pressure to rein in the hooligans, who went on a rampage through the streets of Brussels and the small Belgian town of Charleroi at this summer’s tournament.

During the tournament 965 people were arrested, including 464 who were deported back to England.

The government pushed through the legislation so it would be in place before England’s next game abroad _ a Sept. 2 exhibition game against France in Paris.

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