Germany mostly happy with Confed Cup security

30th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 June 2005, HAMBURG - Apart from four pitch invaders, the Confederations Cup provided no major problems on the security front, German authorities said on Thursday.

30 June 2005

HAMBURG - Apart from four pitch invaders, the Confederations Cup provided no major problems on the security front, German authorities said on Thursday.

"That was a great rehearsal for the World Cup next year. The atmosphere was superb. And I must praise the fans that there was no violence. That is the most positive conclusion of the event. The security concept all in all stood the test," said interior minister Otto Schily.

Michael Endler, head of a special police force on sports events (ZIS), said that the 56 registered criminal offences at the 16 games were "less than at an average Bundesliga weekend" with nine games.

North Rhine Westphalia's interior minister Ingo Wolf spoke of "a very good" dress rehearsal for the 2006 World Cup at the eight-team tournament which ran in five German cities from June 15 until Wednesday.

"We had everything under control," Wolf said, naming theft and fraud the main offences while there were almost no cases of violence.

"Of course events like these don't pass without any crime, but we attempt to prevent them. Now we will start with the fine-tuning," he said.

However, the pitch invaders at four of the games provided a damper and the incidents should not be taken light-heartedly. The men face stadium bans across the country and possibly criminal charges as well.

"That was annoying, we didn't look good in this area," said Wolf, adding that there was only a thin line between freedom for the spectators and player safety.

"We don't want high-security-stadiums. Even if there is a steward placed every two metres someone who can run fast is able to sneak through," Wolf said.

Schily said: "The pitch invader issue was not so nice ... We will analyse carefully with the OC (organising committee) how this could happen."

Schily also named the hole in the Frankfurt stadium roof, which resulted in a waterfall onto the pitch during the final between Brazil and Argentina, "embarrassing".

"But we will review that. For this reason the Confederations Cup was better than any planning scheme. Of course you can not compare this mini World Cup with the championship next year, but it was very good as a test.

"All foreign representatives had a fantastic impression of our country. FIFA president Joseph Blatter, UEFA chief Lennart Johansson, and the Brazilian president told me independently that we were good hosts," Schily said.

Schily said that fine-tuning in the final months until the World Cup, which runs June 9-July 9, 2006, will include optimising traffic outside the stadiums and a final conference together with foreign security forces.

DPA

Subject: German news

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