Germany fans burn Italian flag, attack bus driver
5 July 2006, BERLIN - Germans woke up Wednesday to the hangover of knowing their team had been knocked out of the World Cup. Disappointed fans in Berlin had vented their anger on Tuesday night by burning an Italian flag, with one man even attacking a bus driver.
5 July 2006
BERLIN - Germans woke up Wednesday to the hangover of knowing their team had been knocked out of the World Cup. Disappointed fans in Berlin had vented their anger on Tuesday night by burning an Italian flag, with one man even attacking a bus driver.
Although the general mood was gloomy, people took comfort in the fact that the squad had performed far better than expected in reaching the semi-final.
"We're crying with you," read the headline in the newspaper Bild, accompanied by a picture of coach Juergen Klinsmann with his head in his hands.
"Never mind, lads. You fought like champions," the paper said while describing the agony of Tuesday night's 2-0 loss in the final minutes of extra time to Italy.
"Sad end to a great party," was the headline in the upmarket Die Welt, which went on to editorialise that although the team had missed out on the final it won in terms of respect and recognition.
"After weeks of euphoria, it was only natural that disappointment would follow. Regarded as a rank outsider before the start of the tournament, Germany nearly made it to the final," Die Welt said.
Berlin papers splashed photos of disappointed fans and players across their sports pages. Many were in tears.
"Don't cry for us, you're still heroes," wrote the Berliner Kurrier, accompanied by pictures of a tearful Lukas Podolski and David Odonko.
Police reported only minor disturbances as hundreds of thousands of disappointed fans streamed home from the main public viewing area in the centre of Berlin on Tuesday evening.
A total of 45 persons were arrested on charges ranging from abusive behaviour and assault to possession of drugs. Three Germans were booked for giving a Hilter salute - an offence in Germany.
Police said one angry fan attacked the driver of night bus in the Berlin suburb of Zehlendorf, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a car.
In the capital's Friedrichstrasse station, boisterous fans tore down an Italian flag and set fire to it as others gathered round singing and clapping.
DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news