Not Winning Friends

Last updated : 20 August 2002 By Ed_ScottishFitba

They say bad news comes in threes. It appears that is the case as far as the bid from Austria-Switzerland to host EURO2008 is concerned. First it was the abondoned game between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna in Eisenstadt. They still had 20 minutes to go when the game was abondoned when Rapid Vienna fans clashed with police. Then it was the turn of Strum Graz (allegedly) fans who were chanting nazi slogans during a game with Maccabi Haifa. This time the trouble moved to the other Apline partner, Switzerland. FC Basel’s latest game ended up with riot police having to use rubber bullets and tear gas to restore order. Their supporters had gone on the rampage after they lost 2-3 at home to Lucerne. A total of fifteen policemen were injured as they struggled to maintain law and order. Police arrested fans on Saturday after stones had been hurled at Lucerne fans and one of their buses had been attacked. Basel fans also wrecked a tram stop, set a kiosk on fire and smashed several windows with the police describing the damage as "significant".

This is not good news for the officials leading the Alpine bid for EURO2008. Not something you want to read about knowing that UEFA officials are heading your way. Of course, Celtic are heading over there on 28th August to complete their Champions League third round qualifying tie. If the expected 1,500 Celtic fans travel, they better be prepared to be targets. The Swiss police are getting used to dealing with troublemakers and getting caught up in anything Basel fans start may spoil a midweek trip.

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