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Yob banned after football arrest

PUBLISHED: 21:00 27 April 2004 | UPDATED: 04:49 02 March 2010

A yob is today beginning a four-year football banning order after a nationwide police operation led to his arrest in Ipswich.

Coyle is starting a four-year football banning order after he was among a group of supporters in March 2003 who went on the rampage in Zurich, Switzerland, a day before England played in nearby Liechtenstein.

THIS yob is today beginning a four-year football banning order after a nationwide police operation led to his arrest in Ipswich.

Coyle is starting a four-year football banning order after he was among a group of supporters in March 2003 who went on the rampage in Zurich, Switzerland, a day before England played in nearby Liechtenstein.

Coyle was caught on camera showing that he threw an ashtray at police, smashed a table and chairs at a restaurant and chanted racist abuse.

A nationwide campaign was launched to find Coyle but this was not successful until the day when England played Croatia in Ipswich.

Coyle was arrested when he was spotted in a drunk condition trying to enter the Portman Road ground before the friendly international in August 2003.

Being drunk while trying to enter a sports ground is a criminal offence and if he was found guilty of that offence then he could also be punished for the events in Zurich.

However, if he had been cleared of the Ipswich offence then the Switzerland events would not have been heard before the South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court.

Coyle denied being drunk and trying to get into Portman Road but magistrates found him guilty of the offence and fined him £200 and ordered him to pay £200 court costs.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting, then pushed to get a football banning order placed against him.

The court heard that Coyle went to see England's Euro 2004 qualifying match in Liechtenstein on March 29, 2003, but he and a number of supporters were seen rioting in Zurich, Switzerland the day before.

Magistrates in Ipswich were shown an amazing 24-minute tape of the incidents in Zurich. Coyle and a group of up to 100 other England supporters were in the Johanniter Brasserie at about 7.40pm on March 28, 2003.

Coyle was shown to pick up an ashtray then throw it in the direction of police officers. He then kicked over a chair and smashed a table in the restaurant.

The group of supporters walked up the street chanting racist songs, throwing glasses and bottles and smashing shop windows and Swiss police had to fire plastic bullets at the English hooligans to stop them.

Mr Sadd described the incident as "a matter of national shame". He said: "Making a banning order will help reduce violence and disorder like we saw in the video from Switzerland.

"This behaviour with its offensive false nationalism is an exhibition of prejudice based on ignorance. Every time this happens it affects us all.

"Looking at that video, it may be difficult to feel pride in your country."

Ellen Philbert, representing Coyle, argued that the banning order would be a "draconian infringement of his civil liberties", but magistrates disagreed and Coyle will now not be allowed to watch England or Chelsea until April 2008.

n What can be done to stop football hooligans? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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