The government vowed to prevent racist attacks during the upcoming World Cup tournament, after a prominent ex-official remarked that black soccer fans should avoid certain areas for their own safety. Following former government spokesman Uwe-Karsten Heye’s comment during a radio interview, government officials said they would crack down on neo-Nazi activity and ensure the safety of every fan. “We will not tolerate any form of extremism, xenophobia, or anti-Semitism,” said Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. “No one who attempts to attack foreigners, especially people of color, will succeed.” Racist attacks, particularly in the states of Berlin and Brandenburg, are up sharply this year. Skinheads this week beat up Giyasettin Sayan, a Turkish-born Berlin state councilman, putting him in the hospital.
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