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Vienna expects 200,000 fans for Austria v Germany

Authorities hope border checks will prevent any known troublemakers from reaching Austria.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, Vienna
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2008 04:43 PM IST

Police in Vienna said they are expecting 200,000 fans to descend on the capital for Austria's much-anticipated Euro 2008 Group B match with Germany on Monday.

"We know a game against big brother Germany in particular will stir lots of emotions," said Konrad Kogler, police spokesman for the Austrian Interior Ministry.

"Such a game should be celebrated with joy, and we will act swiftly and professionally to clamp down on anything that threatens this."

Around 40,000 fans are expected to travel from Germany and a total of 3,500 police will be on duty, including German police officers and hooligan spotters who supervised fans in Klagenfurt during Germany's earlier Group B games against Poland and Croatia.

Authorities hope border checks will prevent any known troublemakers from reaching Austria.

So far, good-natured rivalry seems to have surrounded the game, referred to by authorities as a "bruderduell" a match between brothers.

Police will hand out cards to fans printed with the lyrics of both the Austrian and German national anthems so that fans can sing along at the start of the game.

The tournament, co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland, has been largely free of trouble, with police acting swiftly to detain potentially violent fans.

Germany only need a draw to join already-qualified Croatia in the quarter-finals. Austria need an upset victory, and for Poland to fail to get a big win over Croatia in Klagenfurt, to go through.

Police said they expected 28,000 Croats and 15,000 Poles to travel to Klagenfurt and, according to information from foreign colleagues, some troublemakers could be among them.

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