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UEFA and police confirm that the first day of European Championship was a quiet one

UEFA and police confirm that the first day of European Championship was a quiet one

The first day of matches at the European Championship passed so peacefully that police said, minor infractions aside, the most noteworthy development was when horn-honking Portugal fans blocked a major road.
"It was a normal day, the police tell us," UEFA spokesman Wolfgang Eichler said Sunday. "They did not even receive more phone calls than usual."
Things were so calm that Eichler highlighted the length of queues at matches as possibly UEFA's biggest concern at Switzerland's 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic and Portugal's 2-0 win over Turkey.
Police, who were prepared for hooliganism and worse, had little to contend with beyond scuffles and drunks.
"We're highly satisfied with events in all host cities," Eichler said. "Things were quiet. Everything was calm and peaceful at matches and the atmosphere was very positive."
Zurich police said they arrested a total of five violent fans in the early evening Saturday in an open-air zone with a large screen showing Switzerland's match. Later, they said they detained 10 people in the center of town, some of them for drug infractions.
In Basel, where Switzerland and the Czechs opened the three-week tournament, 12 people were detained for confronting police.
The small number of disturbances came despite a total 230,000 fans attending fan zones across co-hosting nations Austria and Switzerland, compared to 170,000 in Portugal at the same stage four years ago.
The Swiss, who usually demand adherence to local regulations for quiet typically starting about 11 p.m., had been warned in advance by authorities that they would have to live with exceptions during the tournament. And celebrations by pedestrians and motorists did continue into the night.
The Portuguese, one of the largest foreign communities in Switzerland, celebrated Saturday's victory in Geneva right across Switzerland. Only in Zurich, the country's largest city, did police report breaking up a noisy cavalcade of cars when a major street became completely gridlocked.
"We are used to it when the Portugal team plays and wins because we have almost 40,000 Portuguese people in the canton," Geneva state councilor Mark Muller said. "Yesterday was almost normal."
Police detained seven German citizens in southern Austria following tension between two groups of fans Saturday, a day before the game in Klagenfurt between Germany and Poland, which has been identified as a high-risk match.
Klagenfurt police said that seven Germans were taken in after a verbal dispute between German and Polish fans in the city center intensified. Both fan groups consisted of about 100 people and police intervened to prevent the situation from escalating.
"Police were able to deal with the situation quickly," Eichler said. "Seven people were arrested, but no property was damaged."
About 140 Czech fans had to spend the night in Basel because their Saturday night flight home was canceled because of airplane problems, but they were offered free accommodation by local authorities prepared for such eventualities.
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Associated Press writer Graham Dunbar in Geneva contributed to this report.