Soccer fracas 'bad influence'

The angry fracas between England and Turkey soccer stars could prove an unwelcome influence on schoolchildren, sports minister Richard Caborn warned today.

The minister urged football's governing bodies to "take the action that is necessary" following the half-time melee in Istanbul during the crunch Euro 2004 qualifier at the weekend.

The warning comes as Uefa begins studying video evidence of the incident, which occurred in the tunnel as players headed for the changing rooms, and decides whether to discipline either nation.

It came after Turkish defender Alpay taunted captain David Beckham for missing a penalty and then poked him in the face as the teams walked off the pitch.

Mr Caborn said: "One does not want to see scenes like that.

"I have said many times before, what happens on the playing field on a Saturday, indeed on a football pitch, is replicated in many school yards on a Monday and Tuesday.

"It is not a good advert for football."

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