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28THUGS BANNED FROM WORLD CUP; Football hooligans targeted by police World Cup ban for city thugs.

Byline: Sam Dimmer Crime reporter

police have stopped 28 Coventry football thugs from travelling to the WORLD CUP | in Brazil by seizing their passports.

At the start of this month letters were sent out to 166 people with football banning orders across the West Midlands encouraging them to hand over their travel documents. So far only one man, who is not from Coventry, has failed to respond.

Banning orders prevent people convicted of footballrelated oences from attending matches or travelling to overseas tournaments.

police football unit Insp Howard LewisJones, said: "Only one person has failed to hand his passports in - that's a massive success and the best ever surrender rate ahead of a major football tournament and well in excess of the national average of around 80 per cent. We are in regular contact with people under banning orders. Most recognise the conditions, regret their actions that led to receiving one, and understand that ignoring the orders will only lead to further bans, fines or even jail.

"These results show that football banning orders are working and are playing a key role in cutting incidents of hooliganism and disorder at football matches."

Inquiries are continuing to track down the outstanding troublemaker and arrest plans will be hatched if he fails to surrender his passport.

Police will retain passports until the end of the tournament when they will be available for collection.

Insp Lewis-Jones warned that even if you're watching a match in a pub or on a big-screen you could still face a banning order if you commit an offence.

He added: "The whole nation is looking forward to a festival of football this summer and we want people to enjoy themselves whilst supporting their team -- but anyone who oversteps the mark and causes trouble can expect a strong response from local police.

"Football banning orders aren't only given to people convicted of violence or disorder at matches but anyone who commits a footballrelated offence such as fighting or damaging property in a pub whilst watching a match.

"Police teams across the region have plans in place to help ensure fans can safely watch and enjoy the action on TV when the tournament kicks-off on June 12."

All of the 166 people subject to banning orders in the West Midlands are men.

England's first game, against Italy, is on June 14.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 9, 2014
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