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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 17:19 GMT
Eriksson appeal over war chanting
Sven-Goran Eriksson
Eriksson said he was happy with England's World Cup draw
Sven-Goran Eriksson has urged England fans at next year's World Cup to drop a regular chant about World War II that would be "disrespectful" to Germany.

The national coach called on supporters to drop the "10 German bombers" chant and continue the "great improvement" in behaviour shown in recent years.

Ambassador to Germany Sir Peter Torry said he hoped "old stereotypes of 60 years ago are not warmed up again".

England play Paraguay, Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago at the group stage.

'Best fans'

England supporters were involved in trouble at the last major tournament in Germany, the 1988 European Championships.

But they were among the best behaved fans at the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002 and at Euro 2004 in Portugal.

Eriksson said: "They were the best fans, both in Japan and Portugal, in numbers, behaviour, atmosphere and colour and it is really important they build on that for Germany.

"They can be the best fans in the world. They have shown great improvement over the last few years."

But he added: "The players and I would really like to see them stop chanting the particular song that refers to the '10 German bombers' because it is really disrespectful to the host nation."


Sir Peter also called on fans not to use anti-German chants at the tournament.

"I think the reputation of the British fans has transformed itself since Euro 2000," he said.

"We have transformed the situation in the UK, legislation is much tougher and 3,200 people cannot travel."

There had been just one football-related arrest at Euro 2004, he said.

"I would hope that the old stereotypes of 60 years ago are not warmed up again for this occasion.

"The people here find it deeply upsetting. They cannot understand why we don't seem capable of growing up."


The ambassador added: "I would very much hope the 100,000 fans who come here will find out what an amazing and fantastic country this is.

"Hopefully some of these stereotypes that still exist will be deleted."

A Home Office spokeswoman said preparations had been under way since before Euro 2004 to combat the risk of trouble involving England fans at next year's tournament.

"We are doing everything possible to minimise the risk of significant disorder marring what should be a festival of football," she said.

"English policing operations at home and in Germany will be extensive and innovative, including the deployment of uniformed English officers in Germany."

She said UK authorities were liaising closely with the German government and police and that the Home Office would announce a package of measures in the New Year.

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