Extremists could target soccer

Nov 30, -0001
LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger raised the prospect of English football becoming a target of violent extremism, adding his team had already faced security alerts in comments published Sunday.

Wenger spoke in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team which left eight people dead as they travelled to a Test match in Lahore, Pakistan last week.

"It has happened to us, where we have had alerts before games that we played at home," Wenger told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

"We kept quiet about it. I wonder about this because in England, you don't get any police escort before games -- they refuse, especially in London.

"We (the world of football) don't regard ourselves as terror targets but you wonder why not."

Arsenal does not employ private security, unlike teams like Manchester United, the paper said, adding that Wenger thought this was the responsibility of the state.

"You rely on the internal security of the country where you are," he said.

He added that he had previously experienced security worries when he was manager of Japanese side Nagoya Grampus in the mid-1990s.

"I remember when I was in Japan, I had this problem as well because we had at that stage somebody who had all the machinery and they put sarin gas into the subway."

Wenger also expressed concern that tournaments like the World Cup and European Championships could be targeted, the paper said. AFP




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