TWO Bolton Wanderers fans with Nazi symbols painted on their bodies were arrested in Germany at England's opening World Cup match.

The pair were arrested inside the Waldstadion in Frankfurt before the start of the game against Paraguay on Saturday.

Police have fined the men, aged 21 and 24, under laws which ban the display of any symbols linked to the Nazis.

It is believed the men had painted swastikas and the symbol of Hitler's SS division on their bare chests.

Police said the men had flown out last week for the game and were due to return to the UK today.

They have not been named, but one man is known to police in Bolton as a member of Wanderers' hooligan element.

It is a crime to display the swastika on German soil and English fans have been warned they will face arrest for similar offences, including performing Nazi salutes or goose-stepping.

German police have wide-ranging powers under two laws the Spreading Propaganda and the Inciting Hatred and Glorifying Extremism acts which deal with behaviour associated with the Second World War.

A toughening of the law for the tournament means police can jail, on the spot, anyone who imitates Nazi conduct or incites violence and hold them for two weeks without charge.

The Germans are so sensitive about this kind of behaviour that perpetrators can be jailed for up to three years for performing the Nazi salute or imitating Hitler.

The Bolton pair could also face charges brought by British police who have flown to Germany to help control fans, and might be served with Football Banning Orders when they return to England.

Before the tournament, former Home Secretary Charles Clarke said: "British fans should respect the law of Germany.

"It's not a joke, it is not a comic thing to do. It is totally insulting and wrong. The German authorities will have my full support in enforcing this law.

"If anyone thinks it's entertaining to get involved in this sort of thing, I would absolutely urge them not to do so."

The arrests came a day after convicted Wanderers hooligan Steven Wall, of Westmorland Road, Tyldesley, was banned from leaving the country after he was stopped at Manchester Airport from getting on a flight to Frankfurt.

Wall, aged 24, had his passport confiscated by a judge who heard that he has two football-related convictions for being drunk and inciting violence. He now faces a banning order.

The focus of England's World Cup campaign is switching today from Frankfurt to Nuremberg, where they will play Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.

Having recorded a scratchy 1-0 win over Paraguay, they will seek to add another three points to their total in an atmospheric location once strongly associated with Hitler, who adopted it as "the most German of all German cities".

The city was almost razed to the ground by the Allies during the war.

Now, the authorities will be hoping for peace and harmony from English fans and the locals after they managed to get along well for the most part in Frankfurt.