‘Violence risk’ at Sweden – England match

There is a major risk of violence during Sweden's World Cup football match against England in Cologne on Tuesday.

Swedish police have said that the match is considered one of the tournament’s highest risk games, Svenska Dagbladet reports.

All matches involving Sweden or England have so far been largely trouble-free. The only major violence occurred during the Germany- Poland match last week.

Lennart Pettersson, head of a special Swedish police contingent at the World Cup, told SvD that there were a number of conditions that made the match risky. One major factor was that the match will decide who meets Germany in the next round.

Pettersson also said that the small arena in Cologne – one of the smallest in the World Cup, taking only 44,000 spectators – made the situation riskier. Some 40,000 England supporters are expected to turn up for the match.

“If the match were to take place in Berlin most people would get into the stadium. The problems in Cologne will occur outside the stadium,” he said.

British authorities have banned 3,500 known hooligans from leaving the UK during the World Cup. Some 17 high-risk Swedish supporters have already been turned away at the German border.

Sweden has 22 police in Germany and the UK 80 to help German colleagues combat football-related violence.