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Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what arrangements he is putting in place in respect of Scottish police liaison with (a) FIFA, (b) the French authorities and (c) the French police over the World Cup; and if he will make a statement. [17849]

The police in Scotland are represented on the World Cup Co-ordinating Group, set up by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, to co-ordinate arrangements at UK level. In addition, a committee consisting of officials from The Scottish Office, senior police officers and representatives from the Scottish Football Association has been established to draw up a strategy for the safety and security of Scottish fans travelling to France. The committee will liaise with the French authorities after the draw on 4 December when venues for matches will be known. The Scottish Football Association will then deal directly with FIFA. The police plan to contact their counterparts in France where the Scotland team will play to exchange intelligence and invite representatives to attend matches in Scotland to gain first-hand experience of Scottish supporters who have a world wide reputation for good behaviour.