Ipswich Punishment Squad

Two football hooligans from Ipswich were among more than 1,400 yobs who had to surrender their passports to ensure they could not go to the 2014 World Cup.

In total four convicted troublemakers from Suffolk had the potential to travel to Brazil taken away from them in a crackdown on soccer violence.

The other two were from the Bury St Edmunds area.

Police said the yobs were told they must hand over their passports to prevent them jetting out to the tournament.

The prohibition applied to everyone who had been convicted of football-related violence and were handed a banning order with travel restrictions by the courts.

Anyone who flouts it could be hauled before a judge.

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, confirmed the four men from Suffolk were among those with football banning orders prohibited from travelling.

The move was part of a raft of tough measures designed to stamp out the football violence among English fans travelling abroad.

Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber, of South Yorkshire Police, who lead the team of six UK police officers in Brazil, said: “Football banning orders have proved an excellent tool for combating hooliganism since their introduction in 2000, preventing those with a known history of football-related violence or disorder from travelling to matches, both at home and abroad.

“They are part of a broader suite of measures which have seen serious football misbehaviour fall significantly in recent years”.

Courts were given the power to impose football banning orders requiring louts convicted of soccer-related violence to surrender their passports before overseas matches in 2000.

In total, 1,452 hooligans had to surrender their passports. But fans with banning orders living in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland did not have to surrender their passports.

For decades English soccer fans were dogged by a reputation for hooliganism, but great strides have been made to tackle it in recent years.

Ipswich Star June 2014