‘No threat’ to England, Italy games, says German FA security chief

By AFP March 23, 2016 23:05

‘No threat’ to England, Italy games, says German FA security chief

Germany’s home friendlies against England and Italy are not currently under threat in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, the German FA’s head of security said on Wednesday.

“We have no evidence indicating there is a hazard to the games in the coming days,” said Hendrik Grosse-Lefert, security chief for the German Football Association (DFB).

“Of course, the latest findings are flowing from Brussels to the security agencies on the ground ahead of the internationals in Berlin and Munich.”

Jihadist attacks on Brussels’ airport and metro system on Tuesday killed 31 people and left 270 wounded.

Germany host Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions on Saturday with a crowd of around 72,000 expected at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

The world champions then play Italy four days later at Munich’s Allianz Arena, which has a capacity of 66,000 for internationals.

“Every rucksack will be checked,” Oliver Malchow, the chairman of Germany’s police union, has said with security heightened for both games.

Security has been a factor for Germany’s home internationals since their final friendlies of 2015 were heavily impacted by the terror attacks in Paris.

Their defeat to France at the Stade de France was overshadowed by the November 13 attacks, when the Germany squad spent a sleepless night in the stadium.

Then their home friendly against the Netherlands four days later in Hanover was called off on police advice amidst threats of a terror attack.

“The situation in Hanover has shown how things are handled when we have concrete indications. But at present, that is not the case for either match,” added Grosse-Lefert.

He held several meetings with the relevant security authorities when he arrived in Berlin and around 30 police officers oversaw Germany’s training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our goals is always to ensure the maximum safety of fans and athletes,” said Grosse-Lefert.

“However, being realistic, no one can guarantee absolute safety in public spaces.”

Head coach Joachim Loew says the Germans are not letting the terrible scenes from Brussels unsettle their preparations.

“The events (in Brussels) are certainly terrible and have hit a bit of a nerve with us,” said Loew.

“When you hear and read about what happened, the images from France (November’s Paris attacks) come to mind.

“But we’re trying not to let these things get to us.

“We’re focused on the sporting matter at hand and trust in the security arrangements.”




By AFP March 23, 2016 23:05


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