Euro organisers satisfied with opening day
The organising committee were satisfied with the opening day on Saturday and dismissed few minor hitches as normal for an international event.
9 June 2008
VIENNA - Euro 2008 organisers expressed their satisfaction with the opening day of competition Saturday which saw a competition record attendance in fan zones and only a few minor hitches.
"We are very satisfied with the opening day. There were no incidents at both games. We are satisfied," said organising committee spokesman Wolfgang Eichler at the Sunday media briefing of organisers and the ruling body UEFA.
Eichler named the hitches "normal for an event of this magnitude".
Klagenfurt police reported 17 arrests on Saturday night after mostly intoxicated German and Polish fans clashed ahead of the teams Sunday match in the southern Austrian city.
Police stepped in quickly to quell the unrest in the only reported incidents in the fan zones of host countries Austria and Switzerland.
The eight official fan zones welcomed 230,000 fans, which is more than the 170,000 people who watched the whole 2004 tournament in Portugal (which only had one public viewing area in Lisbon).
The four Swiss host city public viewing areas were sold out while 35,000 fans watched in Vienna when the Czech Republic beat Switzerland 1-0 and Portugal stopped Turkey 2-0.
However, the Portugal-Turkey match in Geneva also had one incident not desired by UEFA when a controversial incident of the match was replayed on the giant screen in the stadium. Goals are shown again but not disputable incidents in order not to enrage fans.
"It is very strange that this incident was shown," said UEFA communications director William Gaillard, adding that UEFA will make sure it doesn't happen again.
[dpa / Expatica]
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