View Full Version : Massive crowds overrun big screen areas at World Cup in Berlin, Germany!

Jun 17th, 2006, 11:16 PM
BERLIN (AP) -- The 300 big screen areas set up across Germany to watch World Cup games have been overrun by such massive crowds that FIFA wants them expanded.

Berlin's fan mile, the country's biggest with dozens of screens, was closed Wednesday after 500,000 jammed inside to watch Germany edge Poland 1-0. The story has been similar across the country.

"If that many people keep coming, they are just too full," said FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler.

Cities with World Cup stadiums have been overwhelmed as the 3 million visitors to Germany and locals from surrounding areas pour in for the all-day parties on game days.

FIFA and German organizers set up the jumbo screen areas to give people a place to watch matches together when it became clear tickets were extremely scarce. Demand for tickets was at least 10 times the 3 million printed.

World Cup cities Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Dortmund have already expanded their big screen areas, according to Siegler.

Berlin, however, wants FIFA to foot some of the bill for building out its fan mile. Senate spokesman Michael Donnermeyer said the city also wasn't sure if it could handle the added traffic or master other logistics.

The big screen areas have been peaceful, allaying authorities' fears before the tournament that violent fans could generate trouble there because they weren't allowed in the stadiums.

Police arrested fewer than 100 fans on minor offenses among the half-million people in Berlin that watched Germany beat Poland. That has been typical across the country for big screen viewings, interior ministry spokesman Christian Sachs said.

"Those figures are amazingly low. We are very happy about that," Sachs said.

Fearing hooligans and terrorists, German authorities instituted rules to control the areas just a few months before soccer's showcase. They are required to have fencing and security guards that check backpacks at the entrances.

Jun 17th, 2006, 11:17 PM
For all those World Cup fans on Wta World ;) :bounce: