Railway changes orange strip to avoid mixup

BASEL Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:29pm EDT

Dutch fans react during the Euro 2008 soccer match between the Netherlands and Russia at a fan zone in Basel, June 21, 2008. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Dutch fans react during the Euro 2008 soccer match between the Netherlands and Russia at a fan zone in Basel, June 21, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko

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BASEL (Reuters) - Switzerland's national railway has told its workers to stop using their normal orange reflective vests after confused Dutch soccer fans started following them on to the tracks.

A railway spokesman said the changed strip had been prompted by an incident in the Swiss capital Berne when a group of Netherlands supporters followed a worker on to the lines after mistaking his uniform for their traditional orange dress.

"We have now given out yellow vests to all our staff who have to work on or cross the tracks in Basel, where the Dutch fans are now based," Oliver Tamas said Friday.

"It has raised a few eyebrows but we think it's a necessary measure to ensure the safety of our guests."

Tamas said that 1,500 railway staff involved in fan coordination work had already been given yellow vests to help them stand out from the Dutch supporters.

Police in Berne also ditched their orange vests after Netherlands were drawn to play all three of their group stage matches in the city.

A Basel police spokesman said Friday that the yellow vests used by Berne police had now been sent to Basel in time for Saturday's quarter-final between Netherlands and Russia.

(Editing by Jon Bramley)

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