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May 9, 2013

Bremen strike wrong note with Frankfurt

Eintracht Frankfurt supporters will not be allowed to bring a concert xylophone to the Weserstadion, Werder Bremen club officials announced on Wednesday.

In Germany, ahead of away games, the fan liaison officers of every club collect different fan requests and send over a list to the host club, who then decide which items are allowed in the away section on each matchday. While flares and bangers are prohibited due to security reasons, items such as flags, drums and megaphones are allowed at the hosting club's discretion.

A group of Frankfurt fans had tried to gain approval to take the instrument to Bremen's stadium, but the struggling Bundesliga side announced this was not to happen.

When the news broke late on Tuesday that Frankfurt supporters were not allowed to take any xylophones to Bremen, Frankfurt fans on the official club board laughed in disbelief, with one writing: "Xylophones are a thing of the past. Real away thugs bring their fipple flutes."

On Wednesday, the Frankfurt fan liasion officer released a statement to explain why xylophones were not allowed into the stands.

"Given that the anger as well as the media interest in the ban on xylophones has now reached unprecedented levels, we sadly must inform you about the background," the statement read. "Several Eintracht fans had asked whether they were allowed to bring a full-fledged concert xylophone.

"We took the request to the Bremen officials and - understandably enough - were denied permission since the xylophone really is not that small and could block emergency routes."

Bremen's head of security, Lars Muhlbradt, told ARD: "I have been doing my job for 20 years now, but I have never heard about fans trying to bring a concert xylophone."

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