Uefa chief Michel Platini has warned of a return to the “dark days” of hooliganism unless public authorities in Europe help govern the game.

The Frenchman says there is a rising trend of “nationalism and extremism” being “observed in our stadiums”.

He reiterated calls for a European sports police force to avoid events witnessed in the “not-so-distant past.

“A past where hooligans and all manner of fanatics called the shots in certain European stadiums,” he added.

Platini was a player with Juventus when crowd trouble prior to the 1985 European Cup final against Liverpool at Heysel Stadium led to the deaths of 39 people.

AEK Athens

AEK Athens fans lit flares before the game started

More recently, the Greek Cup quarter-final between AEK Athens and Olympiakos was called off on 11 March after a pitch invasion by fans in the Olympic Stadium.

The Greek Super League was suspended for a week by the government earlier this year after persistent crowd trouble.

“In recent months, we have all been struck by certain images that I thought were a thing of the past,” said Platini.

“Some of us experienced that past at first hand. In my case, it was exactly 30 years ago.

“Nobody wants a repeat of such events. We need tougher stadium bans at European level and – I will say it again – the creation of a European sports police force.

“This is something I starting calling for back in 2007, just after I was first elected.”

Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev recently had to close part of their stadium for their Europa League match against Everton after crowd trouble at the Olympic Stadium in the previous round against Guingamp.

The club were also fined £50,761 after the match had to be halted for 15 minutes.

Serbia-Albania game abandoned

Serbian riot police surround supporters after a fight broke out on the pitch

Last October, Serbia’s match with Albania was abandoned after a drone carrying a political message led to clashes involving players and fans on the Partizan Stadium pitch.

In 2013, Spartak Moscow were ordered to play two games behind closed doors following crowd trouble in a Russian Cup tie against second tier Shinnik Yaroslavl.

The match was interrupted after fans clashed with police, ripped up seats and threw them on to the pitch.

Trouble at Spartak Moscow game

Trouble at Spartak Moscow’s game against second tier Shinnik Yaroslavl

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