Berlin prepares for British hooligans

Nov. 6, 2008 at 6:03 PM
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BERLIN, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Berlin is getting ready to ward off an army of British hooligans who are expected to flock to the German capital for a soccer match.

The national teams of Germany and England will face off in a friendly match on Nov. 19 in Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Yet the atmosphere may not be friendly at all, as Berlin police expect numerous violent hooligans trying to travel to Germany to disturb the history-laden match.

That's why more than 1,000 police could be dispatched to the city from Nov. 18-20, the Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported. Hooligan experts from Britain will join German local, state and federal police to safeguard the city and prevent mass brawls from breaking out. Authorities are even considering keeping the most notorious British hooligans under house arrest.

Yet it's not that all German fans are peaceful. Nearly 700 potential hooligans live in Berlin alone, the newspaper said.

"We are facing a big mission," a police spokesman told the newspaper.

The Olympic Stadium will be sold out, accommodating 74,228 fans on that day.

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