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World Cup

Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the proposed membership of the committee established to liaise with the police in advance of next year's FIFA World Cup, separately identifying Scottish representation; what relationship this Committee will have with (a) the Scottish Office, (b) Scottish police and (c) the Scottish Football Association; what responsibility it will have for liaising with the World Cup authorities on behalf of Scottish football fans; and if he will make a statement. [17848]

The World Cup Co-ordination Group had its first meeting on 21 November 1997. Membership of the group includes officials from the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (including representation from the British Embassy, Paris), the Scottish Office, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Football Licensing Authority. Representatives of the Football Association and the Scottish Football Association are members. There is police representation from the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, the National Criminal Intelligence Service and the British Transport Police. The group is chaired by the Home Office.

The aim of the group is to co-ordinate the interests and responsibilities of those on the group into a strategy for the World Cup finals in 1998. The strategy will help to: promote and foster an enjoyable, positive and safe World Cup for British supporters travelling to France; minimise the potential for trouble and football hooliganism; and ensure that the French authorities are made fully aware of intelligence and information which would assist them in dealing with Scotland and England supporters travelling to and attending matches.

The group will provide a co-ordinating function and a forum to discuss and seek solutions to potential difficulties. It is the responsibility of individual members of the group to liaise, in conjunction with other members of the group where appropriate, with the relevant French authorities in respect of their particular areas of interest.

A committee has been formed in Scotland to draw up a strategy for the safety and security of Scotland fans travelling to France. Membership consists of the Scottish Office, senior police officers and the Scottish Football Association.