England fans in Germany arrested for Nazi salutes despite Gareth Southgate plea

Police officers keep a watch on England football fans gathered outside Kilians Irish Pub in Frauenplatz square in Munich. Credit: PA

England football fans in Munich have been arrested for making Nazi salutes despite pleas from Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate to behave.

Eight people were arrested on Monday ahead of the Nations League tie with Germany on Tuesday evening, largely in the downtown area of Munich.

The arrests come amid calls to repair England fans' damaged reputation, particularly in light of the unsavoury scenes at Wembley during the Euro 2020 final.

Three of them were arrested for making Nazi salutes, while police said another fan caused an estimated 2,000 euro (£1,700) damage after he let off a flare inside his hotel room.

Four others were arrested for incidents including insulting police officers and urinating in the street.

Many of the troublemakers were ordered to pay a security deposit of around 200 euro (£170) – the local equivalent of an on-the-spot fine – while two who were unable to pay the money were brought before a district judge.

Pub and bar closures

Some bars in the city closed early on Monday after becoming overwhelmed by the number of customers as large groups of fans wearing England replica shirts and carrying flags sang in the warm sunshine.

Other pubs did not open at all on Tuesday after reports of incidents getting out of hand among some supporters.

Police were called to one “brawl” on Monday, reported to have involved 30 to 50 England fans, but said it had dispersed by the time armed officers arrived on the scene.

England football fans erect flags in Frauenplatz square in Munich. Credit: PA

There are fears of further clashes later on Tuesday after some England fans bought tickets in the German-supporting section of the Allianz Arena.

A Munich police spokesman said police would only be able to stop England fans going in the "home" end if there was an expectation they may cause trouble.

He said 700 police officers had been deployed to deal with the influx of England fans to the city since Saturday, considerably more than would be working for a Bayern Munich football match.

What had Gareth Southgate said?

Asked on Sunday if it is important for England fans to behave on a big occasion in Germany, Southgate replied: "Yes, it is.

"I think we know because of the landscape at the moment that the spotlight is going to be on so we all want to be coming away talking about a brilliant night and be talking about good football and a stunning atmosphere.

"We don’t have any control over that. We can only ask that’s what our supporters deliver."

Gareth Southgate had asked for good behaviour. Credit: PA

There have been over 70,000 checks on applications to join the England Supporters Travel Club since 2014 as the authorities look to clamp down on allowing known troublemakers to attend away fixtures.

Dozens of England fans were arrested in Amsterdam ahead of a friendly win over Holland in March 2018, with the coronavirus pandemic severely limiting the chances to follow the Three Lions abroad recently.

Southgate said such behaviour leading into matches does affect the squad and that he is left “embarrassed” when it does happen.

“It definitely has an impact,” he said. “Staff are working on things detracting from the main part of their job. You are embarrassed when you hear about it, because you know it’s a representation of your country.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know

“In the same way, there’s been a brilliant representation of that across the world in the last couple of days (for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations).

“So we’re always conscious of that. I think we can only give the correct messages – it’s then you’ve got to rely on people behaving themselves.

“I think we have supporters from all parts of the country who travel brilliantly, and leave foreign countries with a great feeling about England and English supporters.

“We know that there’s always been others that do it a different way, and that’s been the same for 40-odd years. We’ve still got to try to police that as well as we can, and make sure we keep stopping people from doing those things. That’s not easy to control, frankly.”