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German cops won't arrest England fans for WW2 songs but one thing will get you in trouble

England fans who sing the banned song Ten German Bombers will not be arrested, the chief of police in the city hosting the nation’s first Euro 2024 game has told the Express.

Peter Both who is chief of police in Gelsenkirchen, which is the venue for the opening clash versus Serbia, said his officers would only be intervening should supporters cross the line by Nazi saluting or chanting racist and homophobic songs.

Last month The Sun quoted Michael Johnson from the UK Football Policing Unit suggesting fans were “likely to be arrested” or “fined a months’ pay” if they continued chanting offensive lyrics referencing World War Two.

However, Both clarified that his officers would not be taking action.

“It’s not illegal to sing that in Germany,” he said. “But let me say it clearly: it’s stupid. There is a long-lasting sporting rivalry between England and Germany, but, it’s only a sporting one. Our countries have been and remain allies for over seven decades.

“It’s absolutely stupid to sing this song, but I expect some of them will sing it. I hope the peaceful and law-abiding supporters from England will say to them ‘Please stop that. But if they do it as well we will hear it and forget it.”

The Gelsenkirchen police chief was definitive that anyone who went further would face severe consequences.

“What we don’t accept in Germany is any kind of hostility to strangers, homophobic chants, discriminatory behaviour and showing the Hitler salute. This is absolutely unbearable and intolerable [and] criminal in Germany too.

“[If that happens] we will take proactive action and will intervene consequently.”

Those who break the law will be arrested and could face deportation depending on the offence.

Both also revealed around 25 British cops would be flying into Germany to assist with the effort policing the 40,000 England fans descending on Gelsenkirchen for the game.

He told the Express these officers would help identify troublemakers and problematic behaviour.

As the Express reported over the weekend, preparations have been made to keep the English separated from Serbian fans, with a 45,000 racecourse equipped with big screens and beer sellers specially opened for the occasion.


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