Random Fußball Story

Well, it's sort of a Fußball story. Really just a (hazy) reminiscence I had honestly forgotten about until recently, involving my one and only near-encounter with football hooligans!

When I was in Munich towards the end of my time there working as a German->English translator for a small translation services company, I witnessed an incident in September 2001 that caught me a bit off guard, because I've never really been a soccer fan and thus was not even aware of the World Cup qualifier taking place between the German and English national teams at Olympic Stadium.

I was walking through Marienplatz (sort of a touristy historical district, and the city's main square - the famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall is located there) heading back from lunch to our office in Haidhausen when I heard a ruckus developing around me - then suddenly there was a line of at least 20 police officers, some in riot gear, stepping rapidly in my direction in one line together, but side-by-side, not single file. I think their arms were linked, at least some of them. I was confused at first, and even a little scared I have to admit, until it became apparent that they were marching in front of a group of English football hooligans in an effort to clear a path and thus (hopefully) prevent any serious shenanigans from developing between the German and English fans. The hooligans were shouting things i wouldn't repeat here at the German fans who it appeared were just there to rally support for the German side and to their credit were doing their best to ignore the instigators...as I said, the memory isn't that clear, but I do remember that the shouting really started to escalate and when it seemed fisticuffs were imminent, I picked up my pace towards the office and relative safety...I never found out what if anything happened that day in Marienplatz. Wish I'd had a camera with me!

The English side won, by the way, 5-1.

Neues Rathaus - Marienplatz, München


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