BOGOTA - Football fans in Colombia have been ordered not to wear or display team shirts, flags or colours to away matches in a measure aimed at curbing hooligan violence. "From this date and until further notice access to stadiums is prohibited to people carrying anything making reference to the visiting team (shirts, flags, caps, etc.)," Colombia's league body Dimayor said in a statement. Clubs staging home matches will be responsible for ensuring the order is complied with, added the statement signed by Dimayor president Ramon Jesurun. "Home clubs are prohibited from selling block tickets of any category to the visiting club or their 'barras' (fan groups)," it said. The Dimayor said it was tired of failed efforts to end crowd violence in stadiums and surrounding areas on most match days in Colombia and called on police and security authorities to restrict the movement of gangs of fans. The latest trouble occurred last Saturday at the first division match in the city of Armenia between Quindio and Atletico Nacional. Three police officers were injured and about 30 people arrested when visiting fans clashed with police and destroyed parts of the Centenario stadium, media reported. Jesurun, quoted by Colombian media on Tuesday, called the violent fans "thugs who disguise themselves in football shirts" and said he was determined to "eradicate those football vandals who are trying to harm the biggest spectacle the country has". However, Millonarios president Juan Carlos Lopez said, "The problem is not in the colours of the shirt, we must bring the few violent (fans) to justice." The Dimayor called for a meeting of first division clubs on August 13 to confirm or modify the new measures.
4 August 2009
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