Coffeehouse Post

Single Post Permalink

View Thread: 200 England fans arrested
  • User profile image

    STUTTGART, Germany (AP) -- Fears of fan violence fizzled Sunday as tens of thousands of raucous English supporters peacefully celebrated their team's advance to the World Cup quarterfinals under a heavy police presence.

    Beer, expletives and patriotic songs flowed freely -- but an evening downpour and victory helped restrain the crowds.

    It was a contrast to Saturday, when riot police arrested more than 500 English who hurled bottles and plastic chairs in separate outbursts.

    In the free open-air viewing area Sunday, middle-aged couples and families with children -- some carrying the German flag -- mingled with fans clad in flags or walking around shirtless to bare patriotic tattoos.

    ''It's a party. We're here to have fun,'' whooped Kevin Penfold as he swapped his red England shirt for an Ecuadorean one worn by Ana Cecilia Pinos Flores, who struggled to put on her sweat-soaked acquisition.

    Nearby, an English fan with his chest hairs dyed ginger and shaved in the shape of a cross grinned benignly in an alcoholic daze as his friends covered him in a flag. Others bellowed songs about downing German bombers in World War II.

    Nearly 2,000 police officers patrolled this normally pristine southern city, a force boosted by hooligan experts from England. It was a model of cooperation that so far this World Cup has helped prevent widespread trouble.

    Police spokesman Olaf Petersen said nine fans were arrested for minor public order offenses. Authorities estimated that 30,000 English supporters watched the match in the downtown area, with tens of thousands more inside the stadium.