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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

McGivan Says Hooliganism Controllable

LONDON -- Alec McGivan, the director of England's campaign to stage the 2006 World Cup, has questioned the motives behind UEFA's threat to expel England from Euro 2000 following incidents of hooliganism.

Writing in The Times newspaper on Monday, McGivan said the scenes of violence that marred the buildup to the match against Germany in Charleroi may have torpedoed England's bid to stage soccer's premier event.

But he accused European soccer's governing body of exaggerating the seriousness of the trouble in order to boost Germany's rival bid to host the tournament.

"The reaction of UEFA, European football's governing body, could not have been more unhelpful," said McGivan.

"Its very public announcement that England would be thrown out of Euro 2000 if there was more trouble echoed around the world and, in my view, magnified the events out of all proportion.

"Private warnings would surely have sufficed. England's next match was against Romania and was hardly going to be of the same scale of risk as a match against Germany."

McGivan admitted that the English authorities needed to take steps to stamp out hooliganism, but he said the English were "world leaders" in dealing with soccer-related violence.