German World Cup fans warned not to sing or face paint

German fans celebrate while they watch the FIFA World Cup 2014 group G football match Germany vs USA in the rain on a giant screen in Berlin, Germany on June 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Clemens Bilan)

German fans celebrate while they watch the FIFA World Cup 2014 group G football match Germany vs USA in the rain on a giant screen in Berlin, Germany on June 26, 2014. (AFP Photo / Clemens Bilan)

The German team has concluded the group stage of the World Cup at the top of Group G. But the country’s authorities are aiming to calm down the football fever, handing out huge fines to loud fans and warning that flag face paint might cause cancer.

Since the country united West and East Germany for the 1990 World
Cup – which it won – it has become the new superpower team, with
millions of supporters around the globe. Despite making at least
the quarterfinals in all of the subsequent World Cups, it has not
won the football championship since – but its fans always hope
for the top prize, and provide all kinds of cheer and support to
their favorite players.

While the team has so far advanced to round 16 of the tournament,
German authorities seem to be a fly in the ointment of the fans’

A group of fans in Berlin could be fined up to 250,000 euros
(around US$340,000) or go to jail after losing a case regarding a
neighborhood dispute, Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Friday.

The case was launched after the loud fans’ neighbor took the
group to court after they repeatedly shouted the name of German
midfielder Mario Götze after he scored against Ghana on June 21.

After toasting a few beers to Germany, the fans reportedly loudly
sang on a terrace. But those days are now over; the group has
been forbidden from singing and shouting outside the apartment.

The court also ordered the men to keep their windows and doors
closed after 10 p.m. during the German national team’s matches.

Classified in the category of neighborhood disputes, the order
was based on a six-page summary of events.

During the World Cup, most neighbors turn a blind eye to noise
regulations, although the night noise rules are the same as
usual, forbidding loud private parties after 10 p.m.

In general, German regulatory agencies have reported only a
slight increase in complaints during the football championship,
the newspaper wrote. When neighbors complain, the police are
typically called in to mediate the dispute.

Another issue for German fans is face paint. The Consumer
Protection Ministry in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg
said it would expand its investigation into flag-colored make-up
sticks, The Local reported.

Over a dozen products were pulled from store shelves after
dangerous chemicals were found in some of them. The three-color
make-up sticks tested by the ministry contained banned or
undeclared substances.

Investigators said they found “pigment red” in nine of
the samples – a substance banned for use in cosmetic products
since 1993, over fears of causing cancer.

Many face paint products also lacked an expiration date or
information about the producer.

Stephanie, a fan supporting Germany's national soccer team, uses a stick to paint the German flag on her face before the broadcast of the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match between the U.S. and Germany in Belo Horizonte June 26, 2014. (Reuters / Eric Gaillard)

Without those make-up sticks, fans may have to think of other
creative ways to show their support in photos and selfies posted
on social media.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined the World Cup social
media trend, visiting Germany’s locker room after the game with
Portugal on June 16, when Germany famously scored 4-0.

Before the warning against flag-colored make-up sticks was
released by the German ministry, the country was involved in
another face-painting scandal.

Photographs of men – apparently German fans – wearing black face
make-up at Germany’s match against Ghana circulated on the

Taken as a discriminatory message, FIFA was investigating the
matter earlier in the week, saying its disciplinary committee was
considering opening a case.

Germany’s next match will take place against Algeria on July 1 in
Brazil’s Porto Alegre.

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