Full strength beer at England vs Serbia AXED and replaced by low alcohol brew amid threat of boozed-up ultras violence


GERMANY has axed full strength beer from all menus inside the stadium set to host the huge England against Serbia clash on Sunday.

Fans have also been banned from drinking in their seats in a major shake up just days before the tournament begins amid fears of boozy bust-ups between England fans and Serbian ultras.

GettyFull strength beer at the England versus Serbia game has been banned and replaced with low alcohol booze[/caption]

ReutersThe ban comes amid fears over surging fan violence between boozy England fans and Serbian hooligans[/caption]

PASerbian ultras have been known to cause chaos on the international stage by causing fires in the stands, brawls with rival fans and even pitch invasions[/caption]

AlamyGerman cops have said that a 500-strong army of ‘violence-seeking ­Serbian ­hooligans’ could descend on Sunday’s game[/caption]

The Three Lions opening match at the Veltins-Arena is already set to be a feisty affair after German cops labelled the match “very high risk”.

Peter Both, the chief of police in Gelsenkirchen where the game will be played, also claimed “up to 400 or 500 ­violence-seeking ­Serbian ­hooligans will travel to ­Germany” ahead of the game.

Euro 2024 security operations have drastically been forced to tighten over the last few days in light of the fan violence revelations.

With limiting the number of drunk supporters being a top priority.

The Veltins-Arena will now only be allowed to serve beer that is less than one per cent in strength, say reports.

Chief Inspector Christof Burghardt told Sky News: “Serbia has many hooligans. The English guys, with alcohol, they are sometimes very aggressive.”

Roughly 500,000 Serbs live in Germany and there are fears some may travel to Gelsenkirchen specifically to cause trouble.

With one East European media platform already vowing daily updates from the Euros “where we will cover the matches and, above all, events outside the stadium”.

A special focus will be at the Trabrennbahn racecourse where there is a 40,000 fan zone set to host Three Lions fans for the Serbia game.

Both told The Guardian: “I guess the biggest challenge for us will be to identify violent, disruptive groups at an early stage, to separate them from peaceful and law-abiding fans, that will be our biggest challenge.”

Over 50,000 litres of lager was originally expected to be sold to fans going to the game on June 16.

Officials wanted to ban booze altogether for the Serbia clash before German cops stepped in and agreed to sell lager.

The UK Foreign Office has been warning fans over their alcohol consumption out in Germany after it was revealed their booze is up to one per cent stronger than in the UK.

They told Brits: “Beer can be stronger than in the UK, so drink responsibly, know your limits and respect local laws.

“You may not be let into the stadium if you drink too much.”

Serbian ultra groups such as Headhunters and Gravediggers are among some of the most feared football fans in Europe.

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They have regularly caused riots on the streets and fierce fights up in the stands at international matches – even by pitch invading and attacking rival players.

With England fans also being known for causing havoc at football matches through distasteful chants, alcohol-fuelled ventures and their undying arrogance over the team’s ability on the pitch.

Rowdy Three Lions fans and ruthless Serbian ultras are flocking to Germany over the weekend to take part in what could be one of the most volatile games of the tournament.

However, Germany’s experience with hosting major widescale sporting events before means they are well prepared for issues.

A UK law enforcement source told the i: “If you were going to hold this tournament at this time anywhere apart from the UK, then you would choose Germany.

“They have a lot of experience at this kind of thing and they are putting in place a comprehensive system.

“But it’s a complex picture and unfortunately England fans are still regarded as fair game, or even desirable targets, by opposing hooligan groupings.

“There is particular concern about the Serbia game.”

Around 22,000 federal police officers will be on duty every day of the tournament across Germany.

With officers from across the continent being on high alert for any potential suspects at borders and train stations.

Are the Serbs the most notorious football fans?

FROM pitch raids to mass brawls and death threats, Serbian hooligans are known wreak havoc and create carnage during football games.

Die-hard groups of hooligans are intertwined with football in Serbia – and they are known for ruthlessly attacking players on the pitch and storming opposition stalls when the match turns against them.

Hooligan firms in the Balkan state have chilling names such as The Gravediggers, Head Hunters, Zulu Warriors, and the Red Devils.

And one of their most vicious leaders is known as “Ivan the Terrible”.

In 2012, Ivan – who has been linked to Serbian far-right paramilitaries – forced a Euros qualifying match between Serbia and Italy in Genoa to be abandoned after trying to attack rival fans and police.

He rallied supporters to lob live flares and bangers onto the pitch as players warmed up and ordered them to break down barriers separating them from Italian fans while taunting police.

Tracing their lineage back to the Balkan war of the 1990s, Serb football hooligans are renowned for their tough-as-nails attitude and love of violence.

They are known for throwing live bangers at players who have switched sides and invading the pitches when games don’t go their way.

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In the past, the Ultras have killed rival fans – including a Toulouse supporter in 2009 who was beaten to death with iron bars and bicycle chains.

Getty Images – GettyEngland fans run from tear gas thrown by cops after they were ambushed by Russian supporters at the 2016 Euros[/caption]

EPAThere will also be a tightened police presence at the game as there is at many Serbian games due to their fans[/caption]

AlamyBeer around the stadium has also been placed under strict rules, claim reports[/caption]

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