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07th Jun 2024

England fans told ‘don’t be dicks’ by German police chief

Ryan Price

The warning comes after fans were heard chanting ‘Ten German Bombers’ during Monday’s friendly match.

A German police chief has issued a message to English football fans travelling to Germany for this month’s European Championship.

Peter Both has warned Three Lions supporters against singing ‘Ten German Bombers’ – a derogatory chant mocking German casualties during World War 2 – which was heard at Monday’s friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Speaking to The Telegraph, the police chief went off script when he used the phrase “don’t be dicks” when issuing his caution towards the fans.

Speaking on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Mr Both acknowledged that while the police would have no power to take action against fans simply for singing the chant, it’s offensive and provocative nature could incite violence amongst German supporters and civilians.

“If they sing a song like this, I can’t change it,” he said. “It’s not punishable in Germany.

“I hope that all the other peaceful and law-abiding fans say to them: ‘Stop it.'”

He added: “I know, and all people in Germany know, there is a long-lasting sporting rivalry between England and Germany. But it’s important for me to say it’s only a sporting one.

“Our countries have been, and remain, allies for over seven decades.”

The chant is partially a corruption of the nursery rhyme Ten Green Bottles but sung to the tune of traditional folk song She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain.

It replaces the lyrics “bottles hanging on the wall” from the former with “German bombers in the air” – before the line: “…but the RAF from England shot them down”.

While many have concerns over England fans clashing with opposing fans at this month’s event, Monday’s friendly – which was held in Newcastle – saw home fans fighting with each other during the game.

Footage uploaded to social media showed one of the supporters grabbing the other by the leg and yanking him to the ground. The pair then grappled on the ground next to a busy road busy with traffic.

The Euros get underway on 14 June, with England’s opening game against Serbia kicking off on Sunday 16th in Gelsenkirchen, a city in western Germany.

Earlier this week, the Football Association sought a ban on the sale of alcohol before England’s opener amid fears over fan disorder.

England Supporters Travel Club members caught singing Ten German Bombers have previously been warned they face being banned from future matches, after it was sung during the team’s friendly in Germany in 2017.

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