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English Police Team to Help Germany Keep Order at World Cup


Fans of England's football team who travel to Germany for the World Cup beginning in June will need to be on their best behavior.

Also headed to Germany for the sport's biggest showcase will be 79 English police officers and four lawyers. In a special agreement, the police will work with German police to keep order near the stadiums, on trains and at the ports.

Officials in London announced Thursday that some will be given the same powers as their German counterparts. It's all meant to combat acts of hooliganism.

In explaining the lawyers' role, chief crown prosecutor Nick Hawkins said they "will use evidence collected in Germany to make sure English fans who cause trouble will receive a football banning order when they return home." He added the "initiative solves the legal complications which prevented action being taken against troublemakers returning from previous tournaments abroad."

Home Secretary Charles Clarke backed German plans to prosecute British football supporters who try to perform Nazi salutes or make fun of the horrors of the Third Reich. He said that "how the law will be dealt with is a matter for the German authorities," and they will have his support.

England supporters in particular have a notorious reputation at international football matches. Some 30-thousand England fans are expected to converge on Frankfurt for England's opening match on June 10 against Paraguay. London's ambassador to Berlin, Peter Torry, said a total of 100-thousand England fans are expected to go to Germany for the tournament. He added only about half of them will have game tickets.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.