HC Deb 19 February 1986 vol 92 cc309-10
12. Mr. Janner

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, when he next meets the secretary of the Football Association, he will raise with him the measures being taken by the football authorities to regulate the numbers and conduct of persons travelling to other countries in connection with football matches; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Tracey

Yes. These matters are covered by the European convention agreed last year, following a United Kingdom initiative, and require co-operation between Governments and football authorities. We are considering particular steps needed for the World Cup in Mexico and the European Nations Cup.

Mr. Janner

When considering the problems of people travelling to and in foreign countries on football business, will the Minister please consider the tragic death of my constituent, Mr. Jim Grey, a football coach teaching in Saudi who was knocked down and killed by a vehicle? Will he consider the deplorable lack of advance in any prospect of his widow, receiving compensation? Will he please consult the Football Association and the Foreign and Commonwealth office to see what can be done to help that lady?

Mr. Tracey

We have great sympathy for the hon. and learned Gentleman's constituent. After considerable efforts with the Saudi authorities, the Football Association's general secretary has sought our advice. It is primarily a matter for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which is considering what advice and help it can give.

Mr. Robert Atkins

Why is it that the proper game of football, namely, rugby union, can be played between England and Scotland in the Calcutta Cup without problems—that is, apart from England losing—yet soccer causes so many problems?

Mr. Tracey

I am not sure that in the context of the original question travel between England and Scotland is travel between foreign places, but I take note of what my hon. Friend has said.