Austrian police brace for Germany-Poland game

June 7th, 2008 - 3:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 7 (DPA) Austrian police are well prepared to take on their first Euro 2008 challenge Sunday, when German and Polish football fans come together in Klagenfurt for their teams’ opening match. “We always knew that the Klagenfurt encounters would be challenging. We are prepared for everything,” Albert Slamanig, security chief of the Carintha province, was quoted as saying Friday by the Austrian news agency APA.

Fans between both camps clashed around their meeting at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and tempers have been rising this time around around a report and photo from a Polish paper earlier this week.

The photomontage published by the Polish tabloid newspaper Super Express, showing the severed heads of German team players Joachim Loew and Michael Ballack, fanned fears of fan violence in Klagenfurt.

Slamanig said that some of the Polish press coverage ahead of the of the game was “disgusting and everything but helpful for us.”

Ten times as many police officers as usual will patrol the southern Austrian town on Sunday, and around 70 surveillance cameras have been installed to record violent incidents, the official said.

Around 400 German police forces, together a few Polish officers, will assist their Austrian colleagues for the Germany-Polish game.

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