Hudghton (Greens/EFA), in writing - Due to the incompetence of Air France, I did not arrive in Strasbourg in time to speak as scheduled in the debate on international football issues last night and am grateful to my colleague Neil MacCormick for stepping in at short notice. The scourge of violence, often organised violence, has plagued international football for years. Initiatives aimed at increasing cooperation between authorities in different Member States are to be welcomed as a vital tool in the battle against hooliganism. I voted for amendments initiated by the European Free Alliance Members, drawing attention to the fact that in at least one Member State there exists more than one national football team. My own country, for example, is represented by an international team despite the fact that Scotland is not yet an independent Member State, and Scotland's supporters have for years had an unparalleled reputation for their good behaviour and good humour. My Group's amendments give recognition to the distinctive footballing histories of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, and simply recognise the reality that the UK has no single 'National' team.

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