• Germany edition
 
Football fans heat up stadium security debate
Photo: DPA

Football fans heat up stadium security debate

Published: 23 Jan 2013 06:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Jan 2013 06:56 GMT+01:00

After hooligans forced a Bundesliga game to be delayed by throwing flares at the weekend, Germany coach Joachim Löw is leading the call for tighter security measures in the country's football stadiums.

On Saturday, hooligans in the Eintracht Frankfurt fan block forced their team's 3-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen to be delayed by six minutes after lighting flares and setting off fireworks.

Referee Wolfgang Stark marched both teams off the pitch amidst safety concerns for the players after the pyrotechnics started landing on a corner of the pitch.

"It is absolutely unacceptable when a game needs to be interrupted like that," said Löw, who was in the stadium.

"When missiles are thrown thereby endangering other spectators, it's extremely important to take action against these people with all the power available."

After clubs in Germany's top two leagues voted on December 12 to adopt controversial new security regulations, outlined by the German Football League (DFL), safety at football grounds remains a hot topic.

A contentious point of the new regulations involves the clubs' right to demand full body searches for any fans suspected of carrying pyrotechnics.

The images of masked Frankfurt fans waving flares at Leverkusen's BayArena only strengthens the argument for strip searching all fans going to attend a game, says Jürgen Klopp, coach of German champions Borussia Dortmund.

"We thought we had a result we could live with," said Klopp referring to the regulations, which were modified after fans' protests last year.

"It's bad when you see images like this. There is nothing more detrimental to a discussion than if you see pictures like those."

The German Football Federation (DFB) are expected to impose a six-figure fine and insist Frankfurt play a game behind closed doors, as this is not the first time Eintracht have appeared before the DFB's disciplinary committee.

According to German magazine Kicker, the Hessen club has already paid €473,000 in DFB fines for their fans' behaviour since 2002.

Leverkusen chairman Wolfgang Holzhäuser has said he wants to pass any fines his club may face, for their part as hosts, onto the fans responsible and wants to increase the price of tickets for away fans.

"The rockets flew directly onto the pitch, near to players. It didn't look so dramatic, but if it hit one of the players that is an attempt at grievous bodily harm," said Holzhäuser. "Imagine if something like that happened in the middle of Frankfurt? "Why should it suddenly be possible in a stadium?

"The stadium isn't a place just open to the public,” said, adding that "nobody, especially the fans who light those fireworks, are above the law."

Eintracht can escape heavy punishment if they help identify those responsible for Saturday's pyrotechnics.

"Only if the culprits are tracked down and pointed out to the disciplinary committee can clubs escape heavy punishments on a regular basis," said DFB vice-president Rainer Koch. "Eintracht are on board with that."

But Holzhäuser said punishing clubs for the actions of individual fans is not the answer.

"The dynamic of punishing clubs by reducing the number of away tickets, games behind closed doors or reducing points, in extreme cases, punishes the wrong people," he said. "But at the moment, there are few alternatives."

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

11:28 January 23, 2013 by Harrow
Coming from Liverpool, all I can say is this whole thing is going to end in tears. It took a lot of tragedy for UK to introduce proper regulations, and it will take the same in Germany.

RIP the 96
16:06 January 23, 2013 by mesca
"Imagine if something like that happened in the middle of Frankfurt? Why should it suddenly be possible in a stadium?" I don't want to defend Eintracht on this but come in Frankfurt on new year's eve, and you have one of the most dangerous walk you will experience inside a german city, it's fireworks everywhere, all the time, crowded or not...

Anyway, punishing the club with a fine doesn't make much sense, the troublemakers should be identified and banned (for life, for all I care, I never want to experience fireworks near me or the people I'm with at the stadium) and the DFB should move on. These "fans" don't want tightened security mesures because they are not there for the match. Personally, just like concerts, I don't care being searched at the entry if it would be a way to find a dangerous weapon or fireworks on another person.
Today's headlines
Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

Germany halts arms sales to Russia
Russian troops surround a Ukrainian base in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany halts arms sales to Russia

Germany has stopped selling arms to Russia due to the current “political situation”, according to reports on Thursday. The sale of military equipment to Russia by German firms has been criticized by the country’s Nato allies. READ () »

Truck kills man lying in middle of road
Photo: DPA

Truck kills man lying in middle of road

Police were searching for witnesses on Wednesday morning following a mysterious road accident in which a 25-year-old man was killed as he lay in the middle of the road. READ () »

Where are Germany's smartest towns?
Germany's cleverest town. Photo: DPA

Where are Germany's smartest towns?

A brain training website released scores on Wednesday showing which German towns performed best and worst in a range of cognitive tests - with some surprising results. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,077
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd