Seven England fans arrested in Germany ahead of match including two ‘for Nazi salutes’

Southgate says Germany remain 'benchmark' at international level

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Seven England fans were arrested in Munich on Monday, the day before the Three Lions take on Germany in a UEFA Nations League showdown. Authorities had feared that crowd trouble could throw up serious problems ahead of the longstanding international grudge match, and two of the arrests were reportedly due to Nazi salutes. 

Thousands of England fans arrived in Munich ahead of time as the Three Lions look to bounce back from defeat to Hungary, which has left them bottom of their Nations League group. Authorities feared that widespread fan violence could take hold, while UK Police have described the incidents as public order offences. 

According to Sky Sports, one fan was arrested for hitting a police officer, another for the discovery of a pyrotechnic in a hotel room, and two more for Nazi salutes. The report also details that anti-German chants and songs relating to World War Two could be heard from sections of England’s travelling support. 

Riot police attempted to take control of the situation late on Monday night, ushering hoards of England fans away from the city centre and towards the train station. 

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The match between England and Germany is hotly anticipated, and the Three Lions have sold out their away allocation for the first time since 2019. That is despite a massive 1,112 banning orders being in place, with 880 fans forced to hand over their passports before the tie. 

In the lead-up to Tuesday’s clash, and amid anticipation of crowd trouble, England manager Gareth Southgate urged fans not to let things escalate so that the football remains the centerpiece of the event. “I think we know, because of the landscape at the moment that the spotlight is going to be on, so we all want to be coming away talking about a brilliant night and be talking about good football and a stunning atmosphere. We don’t have any control over that. We can only ask that’s what our supporters deliver.”

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England and Germany met in the Euro 2020 round of 16, with the former coming off 2-0 winners at Wembley thanks to late goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane. Southgate led his side all the way to the final of last year’s tournament, where they agonisingly lost on penalties to Italy. 

The England boss has pledged to use these international fixtures to get a good look at his squad ahead of the World Cup later this year. It remains to be seen how strong a side he puts out against Germany, particularly with a rematch against Italy set for Saturday, but Southgate was full of praise for the Three Lions’ international rivals and called them, along with Brazil, the ‘benchmark’ for international teams. 

“For me, Germany and Brazil are still the benchmark in terms of countries who have regularly and consistently won tournaments,” he said on Monday. “Everyone will talk about the 5-1 here [in 2001], but they ended up in the World Cup final on the back of that World Cup qualifying campaign.

“You have to respect what they have been and what they are as a country, in footballing terms. That mentality is what we’re trying to create. We’ve got to keep trying to get to the latter stages of competition and games like tomorrow are brilliant for us. It is exactly the kind of test we need.”

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