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17.05.2006 Sports News

German warns World Cup guests

German warns World Cup guests
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A former German government official has warned black visitors to avoid visiting places where they could be target of racist attacks during the World Cup.

Uwe-Karsten Heye, spokesman for the government led by former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, said certain areas around the capital Berlin were high-risk zones.

The state of Brandenburg, which surrounds Berlin and is located in the former communist East Germany, was the scene of a brutal attack on Ermyas M in April.

Ermyas M, who suffered extensive skull and rib injuries in an unprovoked attack by two men, is a 37-year-old man of Ethiopian origin.

"There are small and mid-sized towns in Brandenburg and elsewhere where I would advise anyone with a different skin colour not to go," said Heye, who now runs an anti-racist action group called Gesicht zeigen (Show Your Face).

Berlin's Olympic Stadium will host six matches during the tournament, including the final on 9 July.