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European Soccer to Boost Security

October 10, 2001

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ European soccer is planning to increase security at games following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

``This kind of thing can happen again, perhaps more often,″ Lennart Johansson, president of European soccer’s ruling body, said Wednesday.

Johansson, speaking at the end of a two-day meeting, said his group will soon release a ``catalogue of principles″ concerning security, team travel and insurance.

He also addressed the unresolved World Cup qualifier between Israel and Austria. The game has yet to be rescheduled, but Johansson said it should be played ``now that it seems this had nothing to do with terrorism.″

The game had been scheduled for last Sunday in Tel Aviv but was postponed by soccer’s world governing body following the crash of a Russian-bound airliner into the Black Sea.

Sixty-six passengers and 12 crew members traveling from Tel Aviv to the Siberian town of Novosibirsk were killed in Thursday’s crash.

Even before the crash, nine members of the Austrian team had refused to travel to Israel for the game, which is crucial in deciding which team earns the right to meet Turkey in the playoffs for the 2002 World Cup.

The Austrian players were not satisfied their security could be guaranteed. They contended that playing in Tel Aviv would place unfair psychological pressure on them.

Johansson said the executive council also discussed compensation to European clubs whose Champions League games were called off Sept. 12 following the terrorist attacks. The matches were rescheduled for Oct. 10.

UEFA chief executive Gerhard Aigner said payment to the clubs involved will exceed $3 million.

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