Early arrests as Cup reaches fever pitch

More than 20 football fans were arrested on Friday night following separate incidents in Frankfurt after the opening matches of the World Cup.

    Unrest leads to arrests ahead of England's Cup opener

    German and English fans made up the majority of those arrested, with most being released in the morning after paying fines.

    "After suspected English hooligans thrashed the chairs and tables outside a restaurant ... a serious fight kicked off between the English hooligans and the German bouncers of the bar," Frankfurt police said in a statement.

    Police also said they had arrested 15 people in another part of Frankfurt following brawling in a restaurant, among which were five German, one English and two Polish fans.

    In a third incident in the region four more people were taken in, two of them German.

    England fans have been closely
    monitored by police in Germany

    A spokeswoman for Frankfurt police played down the arrests, suggesting that alcohol and the excitement of the big occasion were to blame, and not hooliganism.

    "They were simply soccer fans who had been drinking too much," she said, "I don't think last night was anything out of the ordinary. It's rather a positive result for an event of that magnitude."

    In an hour-long stand off England and German fans taunted each other in a Frankfurt central square following the host nation's 4-2 win in the tournament opener against Costa Rica. Police were able to keep the two sides apart.

    England commence their World Cup campaign with a match against Paraguay in Frankfurt on Saturday.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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