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Platini concerned about hooligans at Euro 2012

  • AFP, Friday, April 13, 2012 12:57 PM

Though he expects a memorable tournament, UEFA president Michel Platini says the threat of hooliganism at the 2012 European Championship is a major concern. Platini visited host countries Poland and Ukraine this week to assess preparations for the 16-team competition that kicks off June 8.

"I foresee a great Euro," Platini told reporters in the Polish capital Warsaw Thursday. "I always see a glass half full, not half empty. I see all the wonderful things linked to football, such as the great atmosphere there's going to be in Poland and Ukraine.

"I hope we won't need the police," he said, during a visit to the city's brand-new National Stadium, where the opening game and four others will be played. "If there's one thing that always worries me, it's security." Poland's interior ministry said that more than 9,000 officers would be deployed specifically to ensure security.

Poland has been cracking down on domestic hooliganism ahead of Euro 2012. Polish authorities were stung into action after last May's violence-marred Cup final.

A ban on away fans was imposed for last season's remaining handful of matches from the First Division downwards, and ad hoc sanctions have been put in place for several clubs this season.

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