Nfter the brutal attack on supporters of the Bundesliga soccer club FC Schalke 04 almost three weeks ago, the police identified 19 suspects in raids in several NRW cities. “There were 25 searches. We have 19 suspects under investigation. We painstakingly determined who it was and have now made a home visit to them, ”said North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) on Thursday in Düsseldorf. The Gelsenkirchen police wrote of 27 searched objects.
Schalke 04 found out about the raids through media reports and a police report, said a club spokesman on Thursday. “In view of what we were able to read and see there, we are quite surprised by the extent of the operation. When asked, the club was informed that the public prosecutor’s office in Essen was in charge of the proceedings, and a basic request for a meeting from the club with reference to the ongoing measures and the investigation was initially rejected.
Reul praises the use of the police
According to more recent information from the Ministry of the Interior, “up to 200 coordinated attackers” attacked Schalke fans in Gelsenkirchen at dawn during the attack on February 19. Schalke just wanted to travel by coach to the away game at 1. FC Union Berlin. Four people were seriously injured. It is believed that the attackers were Dortmund and Essen football fans.
“I think it’s huge that we’ve made a clean sweep in this area of the hooligan scene,” Reul praised the police’s efforts.
The police are investigating trespassing and dangerous bodily harm. In view of the outbreak of violence, the investigators are concerned about the district derby between Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund this Saturday (6.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky). It cannot be ruled out that the attack on the Schalke Ultras “results in a reaction,” the police said.
The derby between Schalke and Dortmund is considered a high-risk game anyway. The security authorities had also criticized the kick-off time in this context. They also imposed a ban on alcohol in and around the arena. Schalke fundamentally reject any form of violence, the club emphasized on Thursday. “Accordingly, it is our great wish that the derby on Saturday runs peacefully.”
The 25 searched objects were mainly in Essen and Dortmund, but also in Schwelm, Bergheim, Gladbeck, Beelen, Bottrop and Gelsenkirchen. One of the objects searched was the Ultras Gelsenkirchen clubhouse, said a police spokesman in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday on request. The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported.