12:59 GMT +319 June 2019
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    Berlin Police Apologize Over Israeli Flag Removal at Football Game

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    Police in Berlin have admitted they made a mistake when they ordered the removal of an Israeli flag displayed by fans before Sunday's German second-division game between Union Berlin and league leaders Ingolstadt, German media reported.

    Ingolstadt fans had displayed the flag in support of the team's Israel international Almog Cohen, who was on the substitutes' bench, the German news agency dpa reported Monday.

    Police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf said the head of police in charge of stadium security ordered the flag to be taken down from a fence because he had regarded it as a politically fraught statement in a city with a large Palestinian community.

    Fans took the flag down after being approached by stewards.

    Cohen later said he inquired about the removal of the flag and was told by a steward that no political symbols were allowed.

    "I then asked him if flags from other nations were also banned and he said, 'No, only Jewish flag.' I was shocked," he was quoted as saying.

    Berlin's interior minister, Frank Henkel, said the police made "the wrong decision," the dpa report said.

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    Tags:
    removal, national flag, Berlin Interior Ministry, Frank Henkel, Almog Cohen, Germany
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