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IFA chief 'sorry' over fan trouble on flight

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 20/11/2007

IFA chief executive Howard Wells has apologised on behalf of the football organisation after 64 Northern Ireland fans were thrown off a flight to Gran Canaria for causing trouble.

The fans' behaviour on board the Iberia flight from Madrid to Las Palmas yesterday morning resulted in take-off being delayed for nearly two hours.

Speaking from Gran Canaria, Mr Wells apologised to other travellers on the flight, but said it will be difficult to take action without the names of those involved.

He said: "We are the only country in Europe that doesn't have a banning order and, if one was put in place, we would be aware of people who cause problems when international games are played and we could do something about it."

It is understood airline staff took the decision to eject the fans, many of whom were drunk, after they displayed an unwillingness to follow instructions.

After being ejected, 60 fans apologised and were flown out on a later flight at no extra cost. However, four fans continued their antics and were left to their own devices.

Belfast Telegraph

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