Bruges on red alert as police issue warning to Birmingham fans

12 October 2011 03:03
Police have warned they will operate a zero-tolerance policy as Bruges braces itself for a Birmingham invasion.

More than 10,000 Blues supporters -many of them without tickets - are expected to make the relatively short trip to Belgium for the Europa League clash next Thursday.

Behave or else! Belgium police will be taking no chances after previous trouble involving English fans

And supporters have been told they will face jail and deportation if there is a repeat of the trouble caused by English football fans on two previous two visits to the country

In 2000 England fans caused trouble in Bruges, Brussels and Charleroi during the European Championship finals.

And in 1995 more than 1,000 Chelsea fans were deported before a European tie.

West Midlands police have praised the behaviour of Birmingham fans on their previous two away ties in Europe but they have warned them about what will happen if they step out of line in Belgium.

A force statement said: 'Bruges have not hosted an English club for some years but for some locals their last memory of English supporters is sadly the violent scenes they saw during Euro 2000.

Out of order: Trouble flared when Chelsea visited Bruges for a European tie

'Belgian police are very keen there is no repeat of this and WMP are sending over officers to work with local police.

'Belgian police are keen to welcome Blues fans into their city but they will not tolerate any violent or anti-social behaviour

'They have powers to make large scale preventative arrests, and anyone not able to produce photographic ID upon demand is liable to be arrested.

'The message is simple - if you do not do what you are asked by the Belgian police, you may find yourself detained and/or deported.'

This guidance was stressed to supporters when they reached the ticket office at St Andrew's.

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Source: Daily_Mail