Germans and Scots targeted as riot police step in – England’s pre-game party in Dusseldorf | Football | Sport

European Championship quarter-finals don’t come around every day, and England fans have turned out in force to mark the occasion. Leading up to kick-off at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, thousands lined the streets of Dusseldorf and marched to the ground with intentions to cheer on Gareth Southgate‘s Euro 2024 hopefuls.

Having won Group A and scraped past Slovakia in the last 16, the Three Lions landed themselves a deceptively tricky quarter-final against Switzerland. Ahead of the action, Express Sport waded into the eye of the storm to get a feel for England supporters’ latest trip abroad…

Germans and Scots targeted

England aren’t known to be particularly compassionate with their chants. That much became clear when a group of them belted ‘Germany’s going home’ to a group of local fans following the host nation’s extra-time defeat to Spain on Friday night.

Punches were thrown shortly afterwards, but by and large, there was no such trouble on Saturday. Instead of fuelling hatred between the parties, a loud rendition of the controversial song ’10 German bombers’ was curiously belted out by the English, Swiss and Germans all together in Dusseldorf.

Despite getting knocked out of Euro 2024 almost two weeks ago, the Tartan Army didn’t get off scot-free as England fans also enjoyed singing ‘Scotland get battered’ at full volume.

Riot police step in

As a large group of England fans gathered in Dusseldorf’s old town hours before the game, riot police seemingly took exception to the pre-match ritual of a football being repeatedly booted high into a crowd of people.

While the authorities stepped in to stop the fun, there are no known incidents of major trouble ahead of the Switzerland game. Local cops had to be on alert the night before kick-off, as well as the day of the match, as many made their way to Dusseldorf 24 hours in advance.

Police confirmed that two arrests had been made on Friday evening following a ‘small pocket of disorder’, though the majority of fans were ‘extremely well behaved’. On the same night, a rendition of “Foden’s on fire, he’ll be playing the Germans off the park” in one of the local bars may not have been factually accurate but it still stirred up excitement for a high-stakes contest with the Swiss.

Going the extra mile

Express Sport has already been over the costs associated with a last-minute trip to follow Southgate’s men. Fans need deep pockets as well as serious commitment, with many taking long-winded routes to Dusseldorf in order to save some cash.

One fan arrived in Stuttgart on Friday evening, waited four hours for an overnight train to Dusseldorf and will travel back to England after taking a marathon eight-hour coach to the airport on Sunday.

It certainly wasn’t for the weather. Sporadic periods of wind and rain swept Dusseldorf in the hours leading up to the game, when thousands of supporters who had made the trip spilled out of packed bars and onto the streets.

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