Cops intercept Eng hooligans

2010-05-31 15:17
Johannesburg - British and South African police foiled an attempt by English hooligans to sneak into the country for the World Cup via Dubai, the police minister said on Monday.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said about 3 200 identified hooligans had until Tuesday to hand in their passports to British police to prevent them from travelling.

Mthethwa told a news conference: "A month ago some of them were trying to enter South Africa via Dubai and both the South African and UK forces were able to nip them."

He said about a dozen hooligans were intercepted but would not give details of where they were stopped. South African officials have said they are working closely with British police to prevent hooligans reaching Africa's first World Cup.

"We really will not take any nonsense this time around. This commitment by the UK authorities (to ban these hooligans) is not just a commitment, it is something concrete."

South African police have little experience of hooliganism, which does not often occur at soccer matches here and are relying on spotters and intelligence information from European forces.

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