Saturday, July 13, 2024

Euro 2024: England versus Serbia match ‘high risk’; 500 hooligans expected, German authorities warn

Only low-alcohol beer will be served at the stadium with fans from both countries kept apart.

• June 12, 2024
Rowdy England fans
Rowdy England fans[ Credit: Rediff]

German authorities have classified England’s Group C opening at the Euro 2024 against Serbia on June 16 as ‘high risk’ with over 500 hooligans expected to be among thousands of fans who will be in attendance for the game.

According to local police in Gelsenkirchen, the game between the two nations could be a serious threat as at least 500 Serbian hooligans could be among supporters that have come from the country to attend the match, the BBC reported.

“The authorities rated that match from the start as high-risk” Andreas Schaer, the managing director of Euro 2024, told BBC. “But that was also about setting up preventative measures in Gelsenkirchen…for them to take all these actions, they had to rate the match high-risk,” he added.

As part of the precautions in place to curb fans violence during the game, only low-alcohol beer will be served at the stadium with fans from both countries kept apart and more than 1,000 police officers will be mobilised to provide security for the game.

“Serbia’s not been in the tournament for some time so there was some unknown factors – how are the two fan groups going to react? That is an open question,” Mr Schaer said.

“We as organisers are not that much concerned as our records do not show that there is a high risk of clashes, but of course, the match has a bit of potential if we’re not taking care, that it could escalate.”

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