Police raided a far-right Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) tournament on Saturday in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The event in Magdeburg, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Berlin, is planned to take place at a motorcycle club.
Advertised as the “Battle of Nibelung”, the competition was banned because of the reasonable suspicion that many participants had links to right-wing extremism.
About 140 police officers took part in the raids or were on standby nearby.
When they arrive, boxing rings and other equipment have been prepared for the event, which will cover a variety of combat sports.
The officers then confiscated the ring and ordered all participants to leave the place. Participants included 90 people from 10 different states.
The German intelligence agency described the event as “the Europe’s largest and most famous martial arts event for far-right extremist scenes. “
Participants oppose the ban
The tournament has taken place several times in the eastern city of Saxony and was officially banned last year, after a prominent neo-Nazi from the city of Dortmund registered the event in his name.
Police dispatched about 300 officers to enforce last year’s ban on events to be held in Ostritz, a small town on the border with the Czech Republic.
The fighting has been held annually since 2013, and has seen hundreds of far-right extremists from across Germany, Europe and even the United States take part, according to the office.
The event is organized “by young Germans who are united by dedication and enthusiasm for ‘their’ sport and who do not wish to submit to the prevailing mainstream burdens,” the event’s website says.
“The Battle of Nibelung does not want to understand sport as part of a rotting political system, but as a basis for building alternatives.”
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lc, mm (epd, MDR)
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