The Chairman of Aston Villa and member of the FIFA Media and Television Committee warned yesterday that UEFA's threat to boot England out of the European Championship because of the hooligans and the violence over the past few days “has got to be taken very seriously indeed.” “I would hate it to happen,” Ellis said yesterday, but he is adamant that the British government could have, and must, play a bigger role. “It's time for the government to get involved for the sake of the country, the sake of English football, the 2006 World Cup bid and for the sake of the reputation of the English abroad.” Ellis, who is head of the Football Association's technical board and is playing a big role in England's World Cup bid, says that the FA has done all it can do and called on Tony Blair to adopt measures to stop the hooligans from travelling abroad. “I sincerely hope that the 319 hoodlums who have been arrested and deported back to England had their passports taken away on re-entry, that's the only way.” “If it means a greater presence of police and immigration officials at sea ports and airports, then so be it, these people have got to be prevented from travelling to the continent,” Doug Ellis said yesterday while waiting for his mobile telephone to ring with news from Aston Villa. Ellis says that in this day of computerisation and strict controls by supporters clubs, the hooligans should be easy to monitor. “They're only a small percentage of the fans that travel abroad, not even 0.001 per cent and they're not real football fans -they just go to drink and enjoy themselves, but in doing so are stupid and when they get drunk look what happens, it's like money, alcohol is the root of all evil,” Ellis said.

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