Countdown to England kick off
FINAL preparations were beginning today for one of the biggest football matches ever to be held in Ipswich.The teams from England and Croatia were both due to arrive in the region today with first training sessions scheduled for tonight in preparation for Wednesday's international clash at Portman Road.
FINAL preparations were beginning today for one of the biggest football matches ever to be held in Ipswich.
The teams from England and Croatia were both due to arrive in the region today with first training sessions scheduled for tonight in preparation for Wednesday's international clash at Portman Road.
The Croatian squad were due to arrive at Belstead Brook, while Sven Goran Eriksson's team were due to meet today at the Five Lakes Hotel, Golf and Country Club, near Colchester, in Essex.
And as the town gears itself up for a massive influx of supporters, Suffolk police were due to begin the final stage of their pre-match operation holding briefing for the officers involved in controlling the crowd.
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As part of the build up, rail commuters are once again being urged to find alternative methods of transport on the day of the England v Croatia game in Ipswich.
The railway station is likely to be overwhelmed by fans on their way to the match at Portman Road, particularly towards the end of the day.
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British transport police said today up to 8,000 fans from all over the country could be travelling to Ipswich by train on August 20. The worst time of day is likely to be around the evening rush hour. Sergeant Bob Munn said: "If your journey isn't essential, please use other methods of transport. Any commuters travelling between London and Ipswich should be aware their trains could be very, very busy."
Sgt Munn urged supporters to enjoy their journey, but said yobs would not be tolerated.
He added: "By all means, travel by train and enjoy yourselves. You will be policed firmly, mainly for your own safety, but also to ensure good behaviour."
Fans returning to the station to begin their journey home will be split into two groups at Ipswich Railway Station. One queue will be for fans travelling south, with the other for supporters heading north.
"I would ask supporters to be mindful of getting into the right queue, said Sgt Munn.
"We're expecting to be extremely busy on what we anticipate being a carnival-like day."