England fans were today told to do their country proud in South Africa. Minister for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire praised the supporters for their good behaviour in recent tournaments
But as thousands of fans prepare to jet off for the World Cup, he highlighted that the eyes of the world would be upon them.
The Minister said:
"I want England fans to have a great time and enjoy what will be a unique event – the first World Cup in Africa.
"But I also want them to be sensible and behave themselves. It is now ten years since the last major hooligan incident abroad, but the eyes of the world will still be upon England supporters. We want them to be ambassadors for their country.
"With the London Olympics just two years away and an England World Cup bid on the table, I want the fans to do their country proud."
A detailed operation led by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers is already in place to ensure hooligans cannot get to South Africa.
About 3,000 supporters with Football Banning Orders (FBOs) have been handing their passports to police this week, adding to the 9,000 hooligans already barred from international tournaments since FBOs were introduced.
The passport hand-in is being supported by a port operation, which will see air and sea ports manned by specialist police equipped with mobile passport scanners linked to the Police National Computer.
Preparations have also been years in the making with the South African authorities. A UK delegation of expert football officers will be working at the tournament helping to advise and assist their South African colleagues and providing reassurance to England fans.
The working relationship between the two countries for the tournament is officially set out in a Memorandum of Understanding – the only one the South African government signed with another country ahead of the World Cup.
Source: ©Home Office