Britain unveils tips for soccer fans going to World Cup
LONDON -- The British government is giving English soccer fans attending the World Cup in Germany some helpful hints, including translations of phrases like "Can I have a beer, please?"
The Foreign Office's translation tips, which were unveiled Wednesday, are contained in a pocket-size map and instruction guide to Germany entitled "Avoiding Penalties."
Other phrases included "Can I have another beer, please?" and "May I pitch my tent in your back garden?"
Approximately 100,000 England fans are expected to travel to Germany. The team's first match is June 10 in Frankfurt against Paraguay, and it then moves on to Nuremberg to play Trinidad and Tobago and Cologne to take on Sweden.
Britain plans to spend nearly $900,000 to help fans, deploying 20 British consular officers to help with emergencies.
British authorities are anxious to avoid a repeat of violence involving England fans, who rioted at the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands and at the 1998 World Cup in France. British Home Secretary Charles Clarke began negotiations with German authorities on security two years ago to make certain security arrangements were in place.
Britain's Transport Police kicked off its campaign to stamp out trouble at the tournament on Wednesday at London's Waterloo train station. The transport officers -- part of a contingent of 44 uniformed British police traveling to Germany -- tossed around a soccer ball and smiled for photographers while holding a mock trophy.
"I feel it's an excellent opportunity and a privilege to represent the British police," said Wayne Mitchell, a constable in the force that normally polices railways throughout the United Kingdom. "We're there to assist the German officers."
More than 3,000 British nationals who have been convicted of soccer-related offenses will be prohibited from traveling to Germany, the Home Office said. But the police say they want to protect the average fan -- as much as stopping the hooligans from causing trouble.
"A typical fan is extremely patriotic and enjoys their football but there'll be a minority which we'll look out for," said Bob Kenwrick, the transport police chief inspector who will be in charge of the squad.
The British government also plans to hold a crisis simulation -- such as a terrorist attack -- to help officials better prepare for an emergency situation. The government did not reveal when the simulation would occur.