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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 June 2006, 00:52 GMT 01:52 UK
England fans held by riot police
Police detain a supporter
Police in Stuttgart are dealing with the confrontation between fans
Riot police have been removing England supporters from Stuttgart's main square after chairs and bottles were thrown by small groups of rival fans.

Police have so far arrested 150 England fans who were being held together in a corner of the city's main square. That figure is expected to rise to 250.

The square was filled with thousands watching the Argentina vs Mexico match on the big screen.

England fans arrested are likely to be held in custody until Monday night.

A further 122 England supporters arrested in Stuttgart on Friday night are also expected to be held until after Sunday's game against Ecuador.

Police had surrounded fans in the square before gradually leading them away.

Germany win

BBC News's Claire Heald said German fans were leaving the square following Germany's 2-0 win over Sweden but a small group had refused to move past a bar in which England supporters had gathered and riot police moved in.

English and German fans are singing songs at each other in a good-natured but rowdy atmosphere - but in hot conditions a lot of beer is being drunk
Claire Heald

Missiles were thrown during the initial confrontation and the police, some on horseback, then created a barrier to keep the fans about 50m apart.

During the clash several English and German fans exchanged punches and one man in a Germany shirt was seen with his face covered in blood, the Press Association news agency reported.

Erwin Hetger, head of the state police, said: "We had no problems at all with the French, Swiss and Dutch fans that were having a great party here.

"It all changed when the English fans arrived. The atmosphere changed. The incidents began late yesterday evening."

Officers would be more visible on the streets on Sunday ahead of England's second round clash with Ecuador, and would take "offensive action" against anybody involved in aggressive behaviour, he added.

He praised the help he had received from the British police who are in Germany for the tournament.

Earlier, police warned that any fans arrested could miss England's match against Ecuador on Sunday.

But they have stressed that the majority of the expected 60,000 England fans set to watch the game in Stuttgart had not caused authorities any problems.

On Friday, police had tried to move a group of drunken fans in the main square who were singing songs insulting to Germans and other nationalities.

But the group refused to disperse and some threw bottles and chairs, as well as singing racist chants. One man has been charged with assault, after allegedly throwing a chair which hit a Tunisia fan.

An England is arrested in Stuttgart on Friday night
Arrested fans could miss the England match on Sunday

The arrests on Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday more than doubled the number of UK citizens held so far during the World Cup.

Total arrests of all nationalities during the tournament stands at more than 4,000.

England are due to play Ecuador in Stuttgart on Sunday at 1600 BST.


Have you been affected by this story? Were you there?

Your comments:

I have been to all the qualifying matches, travelling back to Sheffield in-between each game. Last night's trouble was wrong, but as you are well aware, the number of England supporters over in Germany is massive. The reputation that England fans are trouble is mostly incorrect. At the match between Germany and Poland, I believe there were over 400 people arrested. At Royal Ascot, in the Royal box, I believe that there were also a number of arrests. Does this lead to front-page stories of the English disease - at horse racing? Maybe not. I hope for no other problems in Germany, as I do at Royal Ascot.
Gary Clarke, Sheffield

If these so-called 'fans' had been drinking all day at my bar and then started this trouble, the police would have closed me down.
Dr. Colin Peterson, Brighton, UK

My husband was in that square all day and night - I spoke to him about it this morning and he said he saw no trouble at all, no one threw chairs or tables, he feels the police are just trying to set an example for those fans coming out today, once again its decent football fans that have to put up with outrageous treatment.
Sarah, London

After all the good press England fans have had from Germany about our excellent behaviour. All in tatters now.
Anon, Basingstoke

I find it a disgrace that the England fans have let down their country again. Every time they go to a major tournament they are involved in violence. I know the old cliche ' Its only a very small minority' and ' we were provoked by locals/police/rival fans' but surely the blame must lie with the England fans as the trouble always seems to crop up where ever they are
Paul , Edinburgh

I was in Cologne along with an estimated 70 to 80,000 English, I have been to many away games with England and the vast majority of our fans are fine, but there is a hardcore group - you can spot them just by looking at them. They have two songs, one is 'No Surrender', the other is '10 German Bombers.' When these songs start, these people get together and the decent people drift away, this is when the trouble starts. In Cologne, when these songs started some young Germans naturally took offence about these references to the war, a few of us managed to talk to them and make them realise that it was not worth getting into trouble over. If the English police out there nipped these incidents in the bud, there would be no trouble they know the signs, I do and it's not my job, they monitor these situations let them grow and then act. Maybe I'm being too cynical but these arrests might justify their presence and guarantee further trips abroad in the future.
Paul, Cheshire UK

I wish the media would get over these sort of things. 100 people being arrested is a tiny tiny minority. I wonder how many people are arrested in the North East for being drunk etc on a Friday and Saturday night.
Ed Bookless, Newcastle upon Tyne

I was at the Paraguay game. On the way back from the ground a few English fans started singing anti German songs on the train. They were promptly told to shut up by the rest of the England fans on the train which was great to see. We have to let them know that they don't represent the England team when they behave like that.
Neil Atkinson, Bielefeld, Germany

Despite the negative report of a total of 4000 arrests, I think it is important to point out how peaceful this World Cup has been so far and how well fans from all nationalities have been getting on. Germany, so far, has been a perfect host to the footballing nations and the fans from these countries have done their nations proud. I truly hope that the remainder of the World Cup will continue to be peaceful and a true football fest, no matter whether it is England, Germany or another nation, that'll take home the cup.
Claus Wolf, Otzberg, Germany

We were in the square, the English fans were singing 10 German bombers... it still wasn't that bad... The melee started as the police charged. We just ran as we were going to be battered! They went for the outskirts of the people who weren't really involved
Rob Adams,

Even crime follows fashion. Being a hooligan is no longer fashionable in England, and unfortunately for the decent majority of us, it once was. These people are the remnants of a bygone era. Most of them are in the late 30s and 40s and are starting to look a bit silly to say the least. The scumbags won't disappear overnight, but fortunately for the rest of us, they're a dying breed.
Pete, Leeds, UK

I am English and have lived here for over twenty years. Up to now we have had such a good party atmosphere here in Stuttgart. Last week over fifty thousand Dutch fans were here and there was no trouble. In Cologne, the German police were full of praise for the English fans who were staying there. So, we will not let a few morons spoil everything. I have spoken to a lot of English fans here in the past few days, they were all friendly and well behaved and very thankful for the few tips I gave them for their stay in this beautiful city. Ann
Ann , Stuttgart




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
An England fan speaks out on the arrests





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