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By ESPN Staff

German cops to work in England before World Cup

LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - German police will operate in England before this year's soccer World Cup in an advisory capacity to prevent hooligans travelling to the tournament, the Home Office said on Friday.

Home Office minister Paul Goggins also said uniformed English and German police were set to work 'side by side' for the first time at a major tournament.

'The Government, police and supporters groups are working hard with the German authorities to make the World Cup a safe and trouble free tournament,' Goggins said in a statement.

'The preparations for this year's tournament are extensive and for the first time are likely to include uniformed English and German police officers working side by side.'

Goggins said a limited number of German police officers would be placed at UK airports and ports during the summer 'to perform a liaison role and be visible to travelling fans' but they would not have powers to arrest anyone.

'This is in order to reassure fans of the German intention to create a welcoming climate for all visiting supporters,' he said.

English police will also be deployed in Germany during the June 9 to July 9 tournament in an advisory role but a spokeswoman said it had not yet been decided whether they would have powers of arrest.

A small number of British police officers who specialised in monitoring football violence travelled to the 2004 European championship finals in Portugal to monitor any trouble.

England is likely to send the largest contingent of travelling fans to the World Cup, with 100,000 expected in Germany.

Almost 1,000 English hooligans were detained and expelled after rioting during Euro 2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands but there was little trouble at the 2002 World Cup in Asia and Euro 2004 after banning orders were imposed on known trouble-makers.

The system will also be in place for Germany.

'Football banning orders are one of the key tools we are using in the ongoing fight to keep Germany free from any travelling trouble-makers,' Goggins said.

German police believe they will be spared any major outbreaks of violence after the draw for the opening stages threw up no high risk matches.

England were drawn against Paraguay, Trinidad & Tobago and Sweden in the first round.