Racist abuse at big screen during Confederations Cup in Germany07 July 2005

As FARE learned recently Tunisian fans were the subject of racist abuse from Germans on 18 June 2005 while watching the FIFA Confederations Cup match between Tunisia and Germany on a big screen at the Media Park in Cologne.

“Two dozen Tunisia supporters, mostly from Cologne, were shouting the name of their star striker, Santos”, reported the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger in its online edition on 19.6.2005. “Halfway through the second half they were suddenly sprayed with beer from behind by German troublemakers, many of them exceedingly drunk, who objected to them enjoying themselves. They hurled racist abuse at the Tunisians. The Media Park should be made a 'wog free zone', shouted one. Then, beer bottles were thrown. As they ran off, the Tunisians threw their bottles, too. Uninvolved spectators had to flee.”

The police were forced to intervene. “I was born in Cologne. All we wanted to do was support our team”, one perplexed Tunisian fan told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. In an interview with the same newspaper on 20.6.2005 Cologne's World Cup commissioner Horst Mayer said: “We didn't like what happened at all. (…) It will have consequences for the 2006 World Cup.” He went on to announce more stringent admission checks and said they would consider a ban on glass bottles at big screens. No direct comment was made on the racist abuse by Germany fans at the Media Park.