Thursday, February 09, 2006

Germany warns English about intolerance and Iran about background checks

Germany has officially warned the English not to make insulting references during their stay in Germany.

"England fans should be aware that the Nazi salute and provocative behavior like goose-stepping in public will be punished," Thursday's Sun tabloid, Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper, quoted Gerhard Hauptmannl, the Nuremberg police chief, as saying. They illustrated their point with a picture of John Cleese from an episode of the 1970's TV show "Fawlty Towers" entitled "The Germans."

In addition, they have warned them that intolerance will not be allowed.

"Racist abuse of black people by England fans will also be taken very seriously... My officers will have the power to remove offensive fans from the situation. They can then be held for up to two weeks without charge or charged under a fast-track system and fined or jailed the next day. Either way, we have the power to deal with troublemakers and we will not hesitate to use it."

I'm guessing that these warnings go to people from any nation and not just England.

In other World Cup, non-field related, news, Germany also warned Iran that citizens traveling to the country to support their national team might face tough background checks for visas and may be prevented from entering the country. This warning comes during waves of angry protests over cartoons printed in a Danish newspaper and heightened tensions over Iran's nuclear program.

Officials say they will treat Islamic fanatics the same way they will treat hooligans.

"When, for instance, the entourage of the Iranian national team enters the country, we will look very closely into whether there are any fanatics among them," G√ľnther Beckstein, the Bavarian interior minister, told a German newspaper yesterday.

"This is stupid - people will resent the German government if they do this," Kamran, a 23-year-old Iranian football fan, said yesterday. "This is the World Cup, not the German cup."

Politics and soccer overlap again.


Anonymous Sully said...

I find it cheeky being an English footy fan that the German officials should make out that we are racists with that countrys past and present record on the issue. Plus the fact they have the worse hooligan problem in Europe! and not a bit of a sense of humour. I can't wait till they stuffed and get knocked out early doors and their fans start kicking off what will they say then!

4:30 PM  

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