According to an article inside today’s News of the World, the newspaper has alleged members of Hibs notorious casuals firm are planning to mar the pre-season tour of Holland with arranged clashes against opposition hooligans.
The NotW claims up to 50 or 60 casuals will make the trip abroad as Hibs play 4 matches during a ten day tour.
Within the article, which quotes a British Transport Police ‘expert’ from the Football Intelligence Unit, it claims the hooligans will be under surveillance for the duration of the trip with the un-named source claiming ‘We will be watching and monitoring the movement of at risk characters and making sure that we share our information with our law enforcement parters in the UK and across Europe.’
Whilst no doubt contact has been made between the Capital City Service (Hibs casuals) and their Dutch counterparts it would seem a little unusual to highlight the proposal of violence a few weeks prior to the tour being undertaken.
If the authorities genuinely believe there is a high risk of trouble during Hibs ten day stay in and around Arnhem surely they would be issuing some form of travel restrictions on those they believe likely to journey to Holland and cause bother.
However despite the authorities insistance they are ‘on the case’ it would be difficult to police should the main orchestrators enter Holland from other European nations.
Hibs have had their problems with hooliganism in the past with the CCS regarded as Scottish football’s most notorious firm.
Clashes were widespread pre and post match during last summers pre-season encounter with Premiership outfit Bolton.
They were also involved in clashes with Ukranian thugs prior to a UEFA Cup tie in Dnipro a couple of years back and a previous European trip to Brussels in 1992 was also marred by violence.
Hibs trip to Holland sees them face Eredevise outfits Heracles (July 16th), De Graafschap (July 18th), Den Haag (July 21st) and Vitesse Arnhem (July 24th).
The fixtures against Den Haag and Vitesse Arnhem are seen as the likely ‘flashpoint’ fixtures.
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