Derek Davis' Football Chatter
WITH fear etched on their faces Manchester United fans tried to scramble over metal fences caging them in Lens.This was a football match where people had paid good money to be entertained but instead faced horrors that echoed frighteningly of Hillsbrough.
WITH fear etched on their faces Manchester United fans tried to scramble over metal fences caging them in Lens.
This was a football match where people had paid good money to be entertained but instead faced horrors that echoed frighteningly of Hillsbrough.
We saw heavy-handed policeman battering scared supporters and firing tear gas into what was a panicky but peaceful crowd.
Clearly the lessons of the tragic event in Sheffield have not been learned by our continental cousins and the incidents at the Stade Felix-Bollaert don't just need the most thorough investigation but severe sanctions need to be taken against guilty parties.
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It was fortunate no lives were lost in Lens but not through good judgement by officials.
Fences should be torn down across Europe and police taught that not every English football fan is a thug, not even a very small per cent these days. It was the riot coppers who behaved like hooligans.
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The investigation will also look at possible ticketing problems, which led to supporters appearing to be in danger of being crushed against a 10-foot high safety barrier. UEFA's control and disciplinary body will discuss the safety and security issues on March 22, more than two weeks after the second leg of the last 16 tie.
The date effectively rules out the expulsion of the French side from the tournament in the way Feyenoord were kicked out of the UEFA Cup this season for crowd disturbances.
DESPITE Joe Royle saying he doesn't want the job at Swansea - and he is quite happy at the moments doing his pundit work for Channel Five - he continues to be linked with the job in South Wales.
Word reaches me that the Swans board are keen to use Royle's experience in getting teams promoted and then help build for the future.
Spanish football pundit and Chester midfielder Roberto Martinez is also heavily linked, along with Dean Saunders.
FORMER Ipswich players returning to Portman Road appears to be a hot topic of late but it may turn out to be wishful thinking.
Although Freddie Shepherd, Newcastle's chairman, is not so keen, Titus Bramble is still wanted by Glenn Roeder, and Alan Pardew is keen to keep Matt Holland at Charlton so that just leaves Richard Wright who is out of contract at Everton and way down the pecking order in David Moyes' eyes.
NEWCASTLE academy chief Kenny Wharton has compared Kazenga LuaLua, Lomana's 16-year-old cousin, with Geordie legend Paul Gascoigne.
Wharton has seen the talented teenager fire United into the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and is not afraid of making the comparison with the best player to come out of the club's youth system in the last 20 years.
Kazenga is also a pretty useful gymnast like Lomana but Wharton sees him more like a Gazza - with a cheeky nature and great skill.