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Thursday, January 19, 2006
World Cup traffic and hooligans worry Germans

BERLIN, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Germans are worried about policing, transport problems and hooligans at this year's World Cup, according to a survey published on Thursday.

The 1,000 Germans questioned by the TNS Emnid polling institute were surprisingly gloomy about the problems that could affect the month-long finals starting on June 9.

Germans have previously expressed optimism about the tournament, saying in polls it should highlight the country's efficiency, and attract investors and tourists.

The latest study found 96 percent agreed it was 'highly likely' or 'likely' there would be a massive police clampdown in Germany during the tournament while 94 percent fear extremely long queues due to security checks outside the venues.

Some 89 percent expressed fears of over-filled buses and trains to the stadiums and a similar number said there would be traffic chaos on roads all around the stadiums.

More than three-quarters - 77 percent - said it was probable or highly probable there would be 'rioting hooligans in the city centres of cities hosting matches' and two-thirds predicted trouble with rampaging fans inside the stadiums.

Some 42 percent of Germans even said they were expecting one match to be cancelled because of a terror scare and 24 percent said a terror attack was either probable or highly probable.

Germans are also pessimistic about the country's chances of winning a fourth World Cup. Three-quarters reckoned victory was unlikely, of whom one in seven gave their team no chance.

Less than one in four said a German victory was likely.

Despite this pessimism, demand for tickets among Germans far outstrips supply.

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