Germany vs England: FA again appeal to fans to behave in game at highest risk in four years | football news

The FA will again urge England fans to behave during the upcoming game against Germany in Munich amid fears repeated violence could hurt their hopes of hosting Euro 2028 and force more marquee matches to be played behind closed doors .

British police and security officials within the FA are understood to have genuine concerns over the Germany v England game in the Nations League on 7 June. The game is seen as England’s biggest away game and riskiest in four years.

The feeling at Wembley is that the FA are on a ‘yellow card’ with UEFA and need to rebuild the nation’s footballing reputation after the mess that tarnished the Euro 2020 final.

England v Italy at Molineux next month is already being played without fans as the FA use a UEFA suspension as punishment for last summer’s violence at Wembley.

But officials are keenly aware that as part of this punishment they also carry a suspended one-game fan ban which could be quickly enforced should further problems arise.

That could potentially mean England vs Germany in September at an empty Wembley Stadium if the fans don’t behave. There are also concerns that further issues could seriously hamper the home nations’ and Ireland’s joint bid to host Euro 2028.

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England manager Gareth Southgate says recent incidents of fan disorder are “worrying” and a broader reflection of problems within society.

There are 3,466 fans with official England Supporter Club tickets for next month’s game against Germany, but more than double that number is expected to travel to Munich for the game. The FA received more than 6,000 ticket requests for the game.

A total of 1,122 football bans have already been issued for known troublemakers, of whom 880 have to hand in their passports to the police a week before the Germany game.

The Nations League game is classified as high risk by the UK Football Policing Unit. It comes the day after the annual D-Day celebrations, and police are concerned an 8.45pm kick-off will allow for the possibility of all-day drinking in the city.

Fans are being asked directly by FA officials and fan groups to refrain from anti-German chants and any WWII reference.

Local police officers will be stationed at all UK airports to monitor flights to Germany in the run-up to the game and have the power to stop any suspect boarding a flight.

The fact that the game is taking place during the week comes as some relief to security officials, who feared the number of traveling fans would be even larger if the game were to take place over the weekend.

The fans leave Wembley at the end of the Euro 2020 final where Italy beat England on penalties
Picture:
The fans leave Wembley at the end of the Euro 2020 final where Italy beat England on penalties

The German Football Association has also agreed to enforce an alcohol ban throughout the Allianz Arena – a move warmly welcomed by English authorities. Still, the game poses the biggest risk of disorder since the 2018 game against the Netherlands in Amsterdam, where 114 England fans were arrested.

British officials will be on the lookout for illicit drug use, which has been highlighted as a key factor behind rising fan violence in recent years. The government is introducing legislation imposing a mandatory five-year football ban on anyone caught dealing or using drugs at football, but that measure will not come into effect in time for this game.

In Germany, both the police and FA security teams have significantly increased their resources.

The UK Football Policing Unit will send its largest delegation to Munich since before the coronavirus pandemic, including six ‘spotter’ teams who will seek to influence good behavior through early intervention and record any wrongdoing to enforce new football bans, as soon as the fans are back in England.

The FA will have three security advisers who will work directly with German authorities, along with 12 specialist stewards who will work directly with England fans.

The FA are also aware of the possibility that England fans outside the Allianz Arena could be targeted by German hooligans, as has happened in Berlin and Dortmund in the past.

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