Bundesliga fallout

Praise for Bremen after confronting neo-Nazis

November 10, 2008

Werder Bremen fans have been praised for the way they turned in a group of neo-Nazis after their 0-0 draw at Bochum on Saturday.

A handful of extreme right-wing activists unfurled a national socialist banner at the end of the Bundesliga draw, but they were promptly identified and turned over to the police by Bremen fans surrounding them.

President of the German Football Association (DFB) Dr Theo Zwanziger commended the ''civil courage'' of the Bremen fans.

''The Bundesliga writes many an extraordinary story and an excellent one is certainly what we experienced in Bochum on Saturday,'' he told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.

''That the police were able to arrest neo-Nazis after they were identified by Bremen fans when they unfurled a banner with extreme right-wing remarks is a perfect example of civil courage in the stadium.

''It encompasses the values of the DFB and the DFL (German Football League) that fans do not look away when idiots and outcasts want to abuse the football scene, but rather show solidarity to act quickly and decisively.''

Zwanziger continued to praise their actions, which can be used as an example to combat hooliganism and violence in and around stadia.

He said: ''This can be the basis for giving violence, xenophobia and discrimination no chance in football.''

Zwanziger now plans to meet with the Bremen fans along with his DFL counterpart Dr Reinhard Rauball to thank them in person.