UEFA chief Platini warns of rising extremism, hooliganism

AP , Tuesday 24 Mar 2015

UEFA president Michel Platini
UEFA president Michel Platini awaits the start of the 61st FIFA congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich June 1, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

UEFA President Michel Platini warns that nationalism and hooliganism is threatening European football.

Platini tells UEFA's annual meeting extremism is an ''insidious trend (that) can also be observed in our stadiums.''

The France great, who witnessed the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 playing for Juventus, says recent violence revived ''certain images that I thought were a thing of the past.''

Platini calls for tougher stadium bans, and ''a European sports police force.''

UEFA's leader will be re-elected unopposed later Tuesday, though he ignored the upcoming FIFA election and President Sepp Blatter.

Platini's address did echo Blatter once calling himself captain of a FIFA ship in troubled waters. Platini, however, said he was a teammate, ''not the captain of a ship that is being battered by a storm.''

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