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England fans warned 'don't be a d***' as German police speak out on WWII chant

German police have warned England fans ‘don’t be a d***’ with fears raised that Three Lions followers could chant about World Wars at Euro 2024. Peter Both, chief of police in Gelsenkirchen where England are due to be based, has admitted that his force is powerless to prevent songs mocking German casualties during the war.

Some supporters have refused to stop singing the ‘10 German bombers’ chant to the tune of Ten Green Bottles. That is despite individuals facing bans if they are caught doing so.

There is no law in Germany preventing the song – and similar ones – from being sung. However, Both has told England fans not to be ‘d***s’ by performing the chant and has called on ‘law-abiding’ fellow supporters to take action.

He told the Telegraph: “That’s what I would say to them: Don’t be a d***. If they sing a song like this, I can’t change it. It’s not punishable in Germany. I hope that all the other peaceful and law-abiding fans say to them: ‘Stop it.’”

He added: “I know, and all people in Germany know, there is a long-lasting sporting rivalry between England and Germany. But it’s important for me to say it’s only a sporting one. Our countries have been, and remain, allies for over seven decades.”

The Football Association has banned members of the England Supporters Travel Club who are caught singing ‘10 German bombers’ from future matches since a friendly against Germany in 2017. However, footage emerged of the chant being sung during England’s 3-0 victory over Bosnia at Newcastle’s St. James’ Park on Monday.

It raised fears that the chant could be performed during England’s Euro 2024 campaign.

Manager Gareth Southgate condemned the chant before the match earlier this week. He said: “It’s unacceptable, completely unacceptable.

“We’ve moved on from those times, or should have moved on from those times. They don’t represent us as a team, the people who do that.”

Malcolm White, the former chairman of the Bomber Command Association and a veteran of conflicts in Falklands, Belize and Yugoslavia, called the chant “divisive”. White added: “We just don’t need this sort of stuff. I just don’t get it, it’s unhelpful, it’s not right.”

England begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Serbia in 10 days’ time. They then face Denmark (June 20) and Slovenia (June 25).


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