The National Police Agency has asked European police to help deal with soccer hooligans at next year’s World Cup finals, agency officials said Monday.

The so-called spotter officers will be tasked with identifying blacklisted hooligans at stadiums. Once spotted, the past offenders will be reported to local police, who will prevent them from entering the stadium. The spotters will be deployed in towns as well, they said.

The agency has asked each European country taking part in the finals to send at least one officer to spot known hooligans and help Japanese police at the finals, an agency official said.

The agency also invited European police officers in charge of gathering information from the spotters. They will be positioned at NPA command headquarters, working as liaison officers.

The NPA has asked European countries to stop known hooligans from leaving their countries during the World Cup finals.

“We will first try to bar them from entering Japan,” a senior agency official said. “If they enter, we will try to bar them from the stadiums.”

During the 1998 World Cup finals in France, hooligans — mainly from Britain — went on a rampage, leaving more than 60 people injured.

The 2002 World Cup finals will be held in Japan and South Korea.

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