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Munich police on high alert as Bayern Munich clash with Red Star Belgrade

The Champions League kicks off at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday and both Bayern Munich and city officials are taking all precautions to make sure that everything stays in order.

TOPSHOT-FBL-EUR-C1-SRB-RED STAR-FANS Photo credit should read OLIVER BUNIC/AFP/Getty Images

As Bayern Munich prepares for Red Star Belgrade on the pitch, the city of Munich is making accommodations for the influx of FK Crvena zvezda supporters to arrive at the Allianz Arena. Per Abendzeitung, the Munich police are gearing up for the influx of Red Star Belgrade fans:

The Munich police classifies the game against the Serbian champions as a “high-security” game and “expects 1,000 critical Belgrade fans.”

That number, however, could be higher. Abenzeitung reports that approximately 3,400 tickets were distributed to Red Star Belgrade fans overall and to ensure public order, the Munich police will have 400 to 500 officials working the game.

If you are wondering why there might be a heightened sense of awareness, it might have to do with the tank Red Star Belgrade fans parked outside of their own stadium during the team’s Champions League qualifier playoff against Young Boys. Per The Sun:

Red Star Belgrade fans brought a tank outside their stadium ahead of their Champions League game with Swiss champions Young Boys tonight. The Serbian club’s stunt has caused outrage in neighboring Croatia after the war for independence from the Serb-led Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Croatian media said the tank is “a clear provocation” and “a scandal” and demanded that UEFA react. The real battle tank was used during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the 90s and fans decorated it in red and white club colors. The tank is a decommissioned Soviet made T-54. A Red Star fan website said the tank symbolizes their slogan: “Machine Has Started.”

The tank is parked near the stadium’s north stand which is reserved for the club’s most ardent supporters. The ultras are known as Delije which is roughly translated to “tough boys.” Serbian interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the tank “replica” was inspected and no explosive ordinance that would represent danger to the public was found.

The good thing is that I’m pretty sure that Allianz Arena is a “tank-free” zone, but any ultras that are classified as the “tough boys” might warrant a little extra attention...just in case.

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