Football tournament scrapped after fans riot

The second day of a football tournament in Hamburg was canceled after violent clashes Friday resulted in numerous injuries and the arrest of 74 fans, organizers announced.

Football tournament scrapped after fans riot
Photo: DPA

The tournament’s organizers wrote on their website that they couldn’t guarantee a safe environment and were thus canceling the Saturday event.

Both fans and the police were injured in the brawl, although precise numbers were unavailable.

The incident started around 7 p.m. when fans of VfB Lübeck and FC St. Pauli got involved in a huge confrontation that turned violent. There were some 200 police officers involved in trying to separate the two sides.

At first the football match continued, but in the second half, the clashes became so hefty that spectators began leaving the stadium and the match was halted. It took several hours to get the situation under control.

“We had a situation in which a large number of very aggressive FC St. Pauli fans continued to seek out confrontations throughout the entire stadium, including with the police,” Robert Golz, the match operations director told Sky Sport News. Police used clubs and tear gas to get the situation under control, he said, adding a number of people “not involved (with the rioting) were injured from pepper spray.”

An eye witness said, “It was at times very intense, how children and their parents didn’t know where they should go. We weren’t supposed to go either outside or upstairs and everywhere people were running. It was quite shocking.”

The Local/DPA/mw

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.