Zero-tolerance for World Cup hooligans: Stoiber

30th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 March 2005, MUNICH - Football officials and local politicians on Wednesday expressed their confidence that the 2006 World Cup in Germany will take place without fan violence like that committed last weekend by German troublemakers.

30 March 2005

MUNICH - Football officials and local politicians on Wednesday expressed their confidence that the 2006 World Cup in Germany will take place without fan violence like that committed last weekend by German troublemakers.

"Hooligans will have zero chance in Germany," said Bavarian prime minister Edmund Stoiber.

"We know the hooligan scene. Police can have the hooligans under control before the World Cup. This will already become obvious at the Confederations Cup (in June 2005)," he said.

Lennart Johansson, head of Europe's ruling body UEFA, called for " close international co-operation" as was successfully practised at the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal.

The statements came in the wake of violence from German fans which overshadowed last Saturday's friendly in Slovenia.

Stoiber and Johansson, along with World Cup top organiser Franz Beckenbauer, were speaking at a news conference around a football congress in Munich named Visions of Football, to which around 1,000 delegates are expected in July.

In a separate statement issued by the World Cup organising committee, OC vice-president Horst R. Schmidt also said that German organisers were ready.

"As paradoxical as it may sound, the experience with the German hooligans (in Slovenia) even helps us assess the international situation," Schmidt said.

"We feel very well prepared to ensure the highest possible security."

Schmidt said that one security aspect was also the restriction to four tickets per order.

Meanwhile Beckenbauer has reiterated that he is ready to seek the UEFA presidency if Johansson steps down after his current term. Johansson said he will announce his decision at the next UEFA Congress June 21 in Tallinn.

"The 52 UEFA members should be informed first," said Johannson, who also called Beckenbauer an excellent candidate for the job.

"Why not? Franz was an excellent player, an excellent coach. He was DFB vice-president, is president of Bayern and head of the World Cup 2006 organising committee," said Johanssen.

But the Swede also said he will remain neutral in the race for his succession for which Frenchman Michel Platini has so far announced his candidacy.

DPA

Subject: German news

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