20:21 GMT21 October 2020
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    With France still aching from the recent fan violence in Marseille and Lille, Radio Sputnik asked Uwe Ganz, the German Interior Ministry’s liaison officer at Euro-2016, to share his thoughts about measures being taken by French law enforcerment to ensure the security of the participants and guests of Europe’s top football tournament.

    When asked about the work being done by German police officers at Euro 2016, Uwe Ganz said that he was in France as part of a 12-man team of German police officers giving consultative and other assistance to their French colleagues.

    “Two of us are working at an information coordinating center in Boulogne, while the rest are deployed at the stadiums filling their French colleagues in on the behavioral habits of German fans, especially when normal rooting degenerates into brawls,” Uwe Ganz said.

    He added that, together with their French colleagues, the Germans patrol railway stations, pubs and other hot spots of potential violence. As kickoff time draws closer, they concentrate at the stadiums.

    “As part of our preparations for Euro 2016 we had a workshop in Paris to learn as much as possible about security enhancing  measures being taken by French police and what foreign law enforcers could do to help them in their work,” Ganz noted.

    He said that, unlike in Germany, French police did not take any preventive action against potential troublemakers.

    As to the performance of French police and security organizations during the recent clashes in Marseille and Saint-Etienne, Uwe Ganz said that he couldn’t say much because he wasn’t there, adding only that reasons for such brawls may vary.

    Answering a question about how Croatian fans managed to bring flares to the stadium, Uwe Ganz said he couldn’t say much about that either because he wasn’t there.

    “All I know is that, back in Germany, some fans use to bring in flares by hiding them in their private parts.”

    Uwe Ganz said that even though the German police officers are allowed to carry sidearms in France, they can  only use them for self-defense. They are not allowed to interfere when rioting begins and are supposed to call French police to deal with the problem at hand.

    “We are a small group, which means that we are not here to fight but to assist and advise our French colleagues. It is up to them to decide what to do each such case,” Uwe Ganz said in conclusion.


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    preventive action, fan violence, security, German policemen, Euro 2016, Uwe Ganz, France
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