[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 9 June 2006, 03:45 GMT 04:45 UK
More England fans flood Frankfurt
A British police officer jokes with England fans in Frankfurt
The centre of Frankfurt has a high visibility presence of UK police
The atmosphere is building in Frankfurt as English football fans continue to arrive in Germany, with a warning that fan violence will be harshly punished.

Some 40,000 England fans are expected in Frankfurt alone for the first game against Paraguay on Saturday.

Fans arrived amid news striker Wayne Rooney had a "good chance" of being fit to take part in the World Cup campaign.

The UK director of public prosecutions said an "extensive" security operation was under way to deter hooligans.

There is already a high-visibility British police presence in Frankfurt, ahead of the England's team's debut. It is the first time they have been deployed outside of Britain in uniform.

BBC News website's reporter in Frankfurt, Tom Geoghegan, said on Thursday afternoon the atmosphere was "lively but good-natured".

And supporters who have arrived so far have been in party mood, drinking and chanting outside bars.

Many partied until the early hours of Friday morning at a bar opposite the city's main station, but there was no violence.

German police had reported three known hooligans in the country, according to news agency reports on Wednesday.

'Swift and effective'

But a British police official in Frankfurt told our reporter that only one man - a ticket tout rather than a hooligan - was known to be in the country.

He arrived in May and was admitted by the German authorities because it was before a clampdown which demanded people subject to banning orders surrendered their passports.

Giant screen

Stephen Thomas, Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: "It's a bit disappointing that any banned supporters can escape the net but if someone travels before the controlled period starts we can't stop people travelling for the rest of their lives.

"It was 10 days before the tournament. That individual was a ticket tout, not a violent offender. He's probably here in Germany to carry out his business and he will be dealt with by the English courts when he gets back."

Speculation about another two men entering Germany was so far unconfirmed.

Another man with a banning order was reportedly stopped at the Czech border.

Director of Public Prosecutions Ken McDonald QC said British prosecutors were in Germany for two reasons - to provide assistance to German colleagues and to ensure those who commit disorder in Germany are punished back in Britain.

"We are determined that our response will be swift and effective.

"Our message to anyone coming here to cause trouble is quite simple. If you do that, apart from being dealt with in Germany, you will be put before an English court and you won't be going to football matches for a very long time."

Wayne Rooney arriving in Germany

Up to 200 fans with banning orders did not give up their passports before last week's deadline, the Home Office said.

If arrested, they could be jailed for six months and fined 5,000.

About 3,500 people have been subjected to banning orders. Eleven other people have been detained to prevent them leaving the country, police said.

The details of those who have should have handed in their passports have been passed to port authorities in the UK and Europe, according to the Home Office.

Officers have been checking tickets and travel plans across England to try to stop anyone flying while on a football banning order.

In other developments:

  • A huge campsite especially for England fans opened its gates on Thursday. The site, which will be home to up to 5,000 supporters, is two miles away from the picturesque Black Forest town of Achern.

  • England fans flying the cross of St George on their cars could antagonise Welsh fans, according to the deputy chief constable of North Wales Police. Clive Wolfe dale said "incessant" flag-waving in Wales during the World Cup could lead to racism and violence.

  • Football fans travelling to Germany were asked by Liberal Democrat MEP Liz Lynne to report any instances of human trafficking. Thousands of prostitutes are expected to come to Germany to cater for the hundreds of thousands of fans - there are fears many could be there against their will.

  • Number 10 Downing St will fly the England flag on days England are playing.

  • The widespread flying of England flags could kick-start a new national identity, an academic said. Sociologist Dr Anthony King said the flag's influence would create "a new national community with social bonds springing from sport".

British police pound the beat in Germany as fans gather

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific