Police force Polish hooligans back over Frankfurt border bridge

Police force Polish hooligans back over Frankfurt border bridge
Austrian police also arrested German far-right hooligans Sunday night. Photo:DPA
Police narrowly avoided a massive brawl in the eastern city of Frankfurt an der Oder on Sunday night between Polish and German hooligans after they forced 300 Poles back over a border bridge.

The Polish hooligans crossed over into Germany over the bridge spanning the Oder River around 11 pm after the Polish national football team lost to the Germans 2-0 in a European Championship match in Austria on Sunday evening, a police spokesman said on Monday.

Many of the Poles had covered their faces as they prepared to fight Germans gathering on the Frankfurt side of the border, but the police were able to intercept them and force them back across the bridge. They also demanded the German hooligans leave the scene and arrested seven men who failed to do so.

The Poles threw bottles and stones and one Polish police officer was seriously injured. A German officer suffered minor injuries from a punch thrown by a hooligan. The city’s Euro 2008 parties remained peaceful. The German and Polish authorities are now discussing how to avoid hooligan violence in the future, according to the spokesman.