After the brutal attack on supporters of the Bundesliga football club FC Schalke 04 almost three weeks ago, the police have identified 19 suspects in raids in several NRW cities. "There were 25 searches. We have 19 suspects in mind. We have determined in painstaking detail work, who that was and have now made a home visit to them," said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) on Thursday in Düsseldorf.

In the attack of 19 February, according to recent information from the Ministry of the Interior, "up to 200 coordinated attackers" attacked Schalke fans in Gelsenkirchen at dawn. The Schalke just wanted to leave with coaches to the away game at 1 FC Union Berlin. Four people were seriously injured. It is believed that the attackers were Dortmund and Essen football fans.

Reul praises police deployment

"I think it's huge that we have now done tabula rasa in this area of the hooligan scene," Reul praised the deployment of the police.

The police are investigating for breach of the peace and dangerous bodily injury. In view of the outbreak of violence, the investigators are concerned about the Revierderby between Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund this Saturday (18.30 pm in the F.A.Z. live ticker for the Bundesliga and Sky). It could not be ruled out that the attack on the Schalke Ultras "leads to a reaction," the police had announced. The derby between Schalke and Dortmund is considered a high-risk game anyway. The security authorities had also criticized the kick-off time in this context. They also imposed a ban on alcohol in the arena and in the arena environment.

The 25 objects searched were mainly in Essen and Dortmund, but also in Schwelm, Bergheim, Gladbeck, Beelen, Bottrop and Gelsenkirchen. One of the objects searched was the clubhouse of the Ultras Gelsenkirchen, said a police spokesman in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday on request. The "Bild" newspaper had previously reported.