Feature

Keep off the grass

The week's news at a glance.

Berlin

The Berlin city council has outlawed soccer playing on a field in front of the Reichstag building, outraging most of the city as well as the federal parliament. Pickup soccer games have been a fixture on the lawn since the end of World War II, and now that the Bundestag has moved back into the Reichstag, lawmakers are often seen kicking a ball around. The city council, though, declared the games verboten because they muss up the grass. “I can’t understand why they are trying to prevent hobby soccer players from using such a beautiful setting,” said Klaus Riegert, a Bundestag member and frequent player who is fighting the ban. “It’s madness.” Players have appealed to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, a soccer devotee whose office overlooks the field, to overrule the council.

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