Germany gears up for the World Cup
"Germany is a football-mad country which is open to the world," Merkel said in a letter on the German government's official website for the World Cup.
"I am convinced that the excitement and the understanding of different peoples will shine out from the World Cup in Germany around the whole world," she added Monday (yesterday).
"We look forward to welcoming fans from the whole world, who will make our stadiums even more colourful and lively. They are all heartily welcome."
Except the Poles apparently.
The Telegraph reports that around 100 German and Polish hooligans staged a mass brawl in a wood on the German side of the border on Sunday afternoon. A 100-strong German police team stopped and searched 45 Germans who had travelled in 15 cars and a busload of 53 Poles after receiving information about the planned fight near the village of Briesen, 37 miles east of Berlin.
One of the Germans stopped on Sunday had been convicted for his part in the rioting in Lens at the 1998 World Cup.
The host nation has not had the easiest build-up to the finals with German away fans rioting during the friendly match at Slovenia in March this year and then in September's friendly in Slovakia.
Yeah right, Frau Merkel! I'm sure it'll be very colourful and lively!