FIFA confident hooligans won't ruin World Cup
FIFA's security chief is confident advanced anti-hooligan measures put in place since the last World Cup in Europe should make next year's finals in Germany relatively trouble-free.
The 1998 finals in France were marred by violence involving English fans in Marseille, and German hooligans who kicked a French gendarme to death, but since then several governments have taken a tougher line in preventing suspected troublemakers from travelling to tournaments.
In Britain for example, there are football banning orders currently in force against 3,113 people, meaning they will have to hand in their passports for the duration of the World Cup.
Walter Gagg, FIFA's director of stadia and security, says the security focus now is as much about preventing terrorism than hooliganism.
Gagg said: 'We know that Germany will be totally different to Japan and Korea in 2002 - it has open borders with several countries which means we have to be more aware about hooliganism and other security threats.
'We are working very closely with several countries including England, Poland and Holland where there has been a problem with hooliganism in the past.
'We are confident that we are very close to having an excellent anti-hooligan organisation. We know the names of the hooligans and we have photographs of them.'
With the USA and England both having qualified for next summer's finals, that has increased the possibility of the World Cup being targeted by terrorists.
Gagg added: 'When it comes to security however we know that anything can happen.
'We have to be very careful. While we don't want to consider that every spectator is a potential terrorist - at the same time we are aware it could be a wonderful platform for terrorists.'