'Don't be a d***': Germany warns England football fans not to sing 'Ten German Bombers' chant at Euro 2024

6 June 2024, 20:19

England fans celebrate after their side's first goal scored by Raheem Sterling during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on June 29, 2021
England fans celebrate after their side's first goal scored by Raheem Sterling during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on June 29, 2021. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

German authorities have urged England football fans not to sing a controversial chant referencing the Second World War at this summer's Euros.

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German police chief Peter Both said England supporters should not sing the chant 'Ten German Bombers' at the championship, which is taking place in Germany in June and July.

Some England fans have sung the chant since the 1990s, and were heard singing it again at the most recent friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday.

The chant's words are based on the nursery rhyme 'Ten Green Bottles', to the tune of 'She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain.

Fans replace the line "bottles hanging on the wall" with "German bombers in the air", adding "but the RAF from England shot them down".

Read more: Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire left out of England squad as Gareth Southgate drops seven for Euro 2024

Read more: Football regulator to 'put fan voices front and centre', but Premier League warns against 'weakening competition'

The FA has condemned the chant repeatedly for decades, and banned it as discriminatory at Euro 2020, but apparently to little effect.

Many England fans themselves find the chant embarrassing, and a recent Football Supporters' Association campaign urged people thinking of singing it: "Please don't be a d***.

Speaking on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, Mr Both said: "That's what I would say to them: Don't be a d***".

"If they sing a song like this, I can't change it," he told the Telegraph. "It's not punishable in Germany.

"I hope that all the other peaceful and law-abiding fans say to them: 'Stop it.'"

England beat Germany at the last Euros in 2021
England beat Germany at the last Euros in 2021. Picture: Getty

He added: "I know, and all people in Germany know, there is a long-lasting sporting rivalry between England and Germany. But it's important for me to say it's only a sporting one.

"Our countries have been, and remain, allies for over seven decades."

Mr Both warned that doing the 'Nazi salute' is a criminal offence in Germany.

"If we talk about showing the Hitler salute, it's absolutely unbearable and intolerable," he said.

"We have to tell them it's punishable and criminal in Germany."

England begin their Euros campaign with a game against Serbia on June 16 in Gelsenkirchen.

Manager Gareth Southgate confirmed his final squad of 26 players on Thursday evening, with Harry Maguire and Jack Grealish surprise omissions.

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