German soccer chief seeks to combat hooligan behavior

President of German Football Association calls for tighter ticket distribution after fans chanted Nazi slogans during World Cup qualifier.

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Ben Ariel,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)
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Reinhard Grindel, the President of the German Football Association (DFB), on Monday called on European associations to work closer together to combat hooligan behavior after fans chanted Nazi slogans during a World Cup qualifier in Prague.

Speaking to kicker magazine and quoted by The Associated Press, Grindel said, "We need to discuss the issue of ticket distribution together with the European associations and find ways to ensure more control throughout Europe."

Grindel blasted the group of about 200 German supporters who chanted the slogans, including “Sieg Heil”, during Friday's 2-1 win over Czech Republic.

The fans also whistled and chanted during a moment of silence for two Czech officials who died.

German team manager Joachim Low also blasted the fans, saying at a news conference, “I’m full of anger and I’m very much shaken to see that some so-called fans use football, and an international match, for their deplorable demonstrations. They bring shame on our country.”

Low said he hoped the raucous fans would be sanctioned.

“We don’t want them, we’re not their national team, and they’re not our fans. Given our history, it’s very important for us to represent our country in a dignified fashion and its values of tolerance, respect and openness to the world. These troublemakers demean this image,” he stressed.

The incident in Prague followed one in Austria, where a local soccer fan was given an 18-month prison sentence late last month for a Hitler salute during a match.

The Nazi salute is contrary to Austria’s tough laws against Nazi glorification.








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