Arrests and violence blight Hanover derby

Some 14 police officers were hurt and four football fans were arrested, with dozens more injured, during trouble before Hanover 96's goalless draw with Eintracht Braunschweig on Friday night.

Arrests and violence blight Hanover derby
Photo: DPA

Just 70 kilometres separate the two north German clubs and tensions ran high for the first Lower Saxony derby in the Bundesliga since April 1976, with promoted Braunschweig coming into the game bottom the league.

Police had deployed dozens of extra officers for the match at the HDI Arena where 47,200 fans had packed into the stadium.

Police used water cannons, batons and pepper spray on fans outside the stadium before kick-off in a bid to keep rival fans apart.

"Police officers had to deal with a significant potential for violence from both sides before the game," said police spokesman Guido Cyrson.

"Due to consistent intervention, we were successfully able to keep the fans apart and officers prevented things getting worse."

Around 850 hooligans, categorised "violent" or "violence-seeking", had been identified in advance of the game by police intelligence.

Violent football supporters from as far afield as Hamburg, Bielefeld, Kassel, Berlin and even Vienna were identified at the game, mixing with both sets of supporters.

During the 90 minutes of the match, both sets of fans set off, one of which burnt on the pitch.

"By doing this, they (the fans) have damaged themselves," fumed Hanover president Martin Kind.

"It's shameful and it's a level (of behaviour) that we cannot accept. The question has to be asked how so many pyrotechnics could be brought into the stadium. It is something we have to discuss. It can't go on like this."

The German Football Federation (DFB) are set to investigate.

A controversial set of security regulations, brought in last season by the German Football League (DFL), gives clubs the power to search fans suspected of carrying flares into the stadium.

Despite increased security, incidents of flares being set off at Bundesliga games remain commonplace.

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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.