German, Turkish FAs stress friendly rivalry

Dr Theo Zwanziger, president of the German Football Association (DFB), and Hasan Doğan, his counterpart from the Turkish Football Association (TFF), have called for a peaceful celebration during the highly anticipated UEFA EURO 2008™ semi-final tonight between Germany and Turkey in Basel.

"Despite the sporting rivalry on the pitch, we cannot allow any form of aggression," read a collective statement from the presidents. "Even though our teams will be fighting for 90 or even 120 minutes with the highest level of effort and all fair means to reach the EURO final, we understand each other very well and want to celebrate together and share the thrills of this great football event."

With this in mind, they spoke of the bond between the two nations and the numerous signs of solidarity across Germany, which has some two million Turkish immigrants. "You always see cars with German and Turkish flags on their windows. There are a lot of collective events too in numerous German-Turkish districts throughout Germany. And that's how it should be. All the fans on Wednesday night should play their own part in the deepening of the German-Turkish friendship," Doğan and Zwanziger added in the statement.

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