Football hooligans banned from World Cup are brawling in Tenerife, police fear

UK police fear people prevented from travelling to World Cup are behind football clashes in Tenerife
UK police fear people prevented from travelling to World Cup are behind football clashes in Tenerife

UK police fear people prevented from travelling to Qatar for the World Cup because of football banning orders may be behind clashes between England and Wales supporters in Tenerife.

A "major security operation" will be launched in Tenerife to prevent "potential riots" and violence during the crunch England v Wales game on Tuesday.

Video footage emerged of a brawl outside bars on the largest of Spain's Canary Islands on Friday evening, with people wearing England and Wales shirts involved.

The surrendering of passports is an automatic part of the banning order process.

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The guidelines state: "The order requires the offender to report to a police station within five days, may require the offender to surrender his or her passport, and may impose requirements on the offender in relation to any regulated football matches."

But in the build-up to Qatar, the more than 1,300 people in the UK subject to football banning orders were forced to hand over their passports to police in a bid to prevent violent and abusive fans travelling to the Middle East.

Those wishing to travel to other countries until the end of the tournament are required to seek permission to hold on to their passports and are subject to checks, according to the Home Office.

However, Chief constable Mark Roberts, the UK's football policing lead, suggested some had slipped through the net.

"We're going to have to look at this because we've got the football banning order regime that prevents people from travelling," he said. "There are on occasions exemptions and I think some of the people who got exemptions have gone to Tenerife.

"We can't say yet they've been involved or not, but we probably do need to think about it."

He added: "Sadly I think the Spanish police are pretty used to dealing with unpleasant drunkenness from holidaying Brits so I don't think it's anything out of the ordinary.

"If it hadn't been World Cup time it would have probably happened and no-one would have batted an eyelid.

"It's unfortunate but it's that link again between alcohol and poor behaviour."

A statement issued by the local council in Tenerife said Friday's fight in a tourist area is under investigation.

Wales fan Michael Exintaris, 45, a mechanic from Cardiff enjoys a pint at the Wigan Pier Bar in Tenerife - Julian Simmonds for The Telegraph
Wales fan Michael Exintaris, 45, a mechanic from Cardiff enjoys a pint at the Wigan Pier Bar in Tenerife - Julian Simmonds for The Telegraph

It added that national and local police are working together to prevent "possible riots" in the tourist areas of Arona when World Cup matches take place.

Mr Roberts praised England and Wales fans in Qatar and confirmed there have been no arrests.