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English soccer fans face fines over ’10 German Bombers’ chant in Germany — even though it’s


English authorities have suggested that soccer fans could face fines for chanting offensive songs while in Germany for the 2024 UEFA European Football Championship.

The country warned its traveling fans that singing allegedly offensive songs could result in fines while abroad, according to the BBC. Authorities suggested that if fans refused to stop when asked, it could be deemed as a possible public order offense.

Large swaths of partying English fans have been recorded singing a song called “10 German Bombers” while on the streets or in pubs in Germany.

The song is in reference to World War II air battles between the British Royal Air Force and the Nazi Luftwaffe. The lyrics of the song, which are sung to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain,” are typically as follows:

“There were 10 German bombers in the air.
There were 10 German bombers in the air.
There were 10 German bombers, 10 German bombers, 10 German bombers in the air.
And the RAF from England shot one down.
And the RAF from England shot one down.
And the RAF from England, RAF from England, RAF from England shot one down.”

‘German police will take action against those breaking the law. This action can include heavy fines and custodial sentences.’

The head of Germany’s National Police Coordination Centre said that any fines depended on the circumstance:

“First they can expect communication. … It’s perhaps not an offence, but it’s very, very impolite. So please stop this,” Oliver Strudthoff said.

A spokesperson from the U.K. Football Policing Unit urged fans to be mindful of local culture and “be good guests.”

“Willfully acting in a way to cause offence could result in a heightened risk to your personal safety, and German police will take action against those breaking the law. This action can include heavy fines and custodial sentences,” the spokesperson added.

English soccer fans have been punished for causing offense or otherwise being mean at soccer games in their own country. The term “tragedy chanting” was even coined to identify songs about tragedies that were not allowed to be sung.

Twice in June 2023, fans were punished for their actions at English stadiums.

One man was arrested for wearing a shirt that said “not enough” with the number 97 on it. This was in reference to a tragedy that took the lives of 97 Liverpool soccer fans in 1989 when a section of stadium seating collapsed.

Days later, a second man was cited for intentionally mocking the same tragedy, and reportedly admitted to intentionally causing harassment, alarm, or distress. That fan was sentenced to 12 months of community service and ordered to pay a total of £314, which equates to about $400.

There was not equal outrage for the “10 German Bombers” song when it was repurposed by Ukrainian soccer fans — with the lyrics handed out across the stadium — to mock the Russian military in March 2023.

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