The FA has repeated its warning to fans of the serious consequences if there is
The FA has repeated its warning to fans of the serious consequences if there is any racial or violent behaviour at England's Euro 2004 qualifier in Middlesbrough this evening.
Paul Barber, The FA's Director of Marketing & Communications said the eyes of football's ruling bodies would be on the match following the scenes witnessed against Turkey in April, "We remain very much under close scrutiny in term's of Tonight's match," he said.
"It's a vital match for England but once again our fans face a bigger test off the pitch than the players on it.
"Any repeat of the behaviour we saw at Sunderland the consequences for England and The FA could be very serious indeed."
Speaking on the day that Northumbria Police released images of a further 18 people it wants to trace in connection with violence at the Turkey game, Barber added: "We thank the public for their support in identifying these people. It shows that they are as fed up with the situation as we are. It was one of the best ever responses to a police appeal for help."
Following the great response to appeals made by both The FA and England players ahead of the last game against Serbia and Montenegro at Leicester, Barber praised the supporters for showing great respect and is hoping for more of the same tonight, and for all games in the future.
"Both The FA and the England squad were delighted at the way in which the fans responded to our requests for good behaviour," he said.
"The respect shown to Serbia and Montenegro's national anthem and the warm applause that followed both anthems, together with the good natured and good humoured support throughout the match was the perfect example of how the true England fans behave.
"We now have a really crucial match in Middlesbrough tonight and we sincerely hope that England fans attending this match will be able to follow the examples set in South Africa last month and Leicester last week. If the fans get behind the team in the right way we can make the ideal atmosphere for the Euro 2004 Qualifier against Slovakia at the Riverside."
Following the theme at Leicester, there will be 35,000 anti-racism leaflets inside the stadium to further cement The FA's stance on this matter, and their message is louder than ever, there will be absolutely no tolerance of any racist or violent behaviour, whatsoever.
Click here to view David Beckham's video appeal