• 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
Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire
Nane, with her father and a picture of the cartridge-laden wood. Photo: DPA

Girls find live munition in Easter bonfire

Two 12-year-old German girls found live ammunition lodged into a branch in an Easter bonfire. It was due to be lit the next day, potentially igniting the cartridges and causing disaster. READ () »

Opinion
'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'
Photo: DPA

'Fracking won't save Germany from Putin'

Germany's reliance on Russian gas continues to limit the nation's diplomatic leverage in the Ukraine crisis. But as leaders once again explore fracking as an alternative, critics told The Local the risks were too high. READ () »

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'
Deso Dogg. Photo: YouTube screenshot

German rapper-turned-jihadist 'killed in Syria'

UPDATE: A German former rapper who joined jihadists fighting in Syria was reported dead on Tuesday by jihadist sources, but hours later some retracted the claim, saying he was still alive. READ () »

Have Your Say
Who should pay for Germany’s roads?
Photo: DPA

Who should pay for Germany’s roads?

A top politician's suggestion that drivers should be charged €100 a year towards the upkeep of Germany's roads was met with derision on Tuesday. But how should Germany fill the black hole it its infrastructure budget? READ () »

Tax income hits March record
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Tax income hits March record

A record amount of cash flowed into German government coffers in March thanks to land, beer and incomes taxes, a monthly report from the finance ministry revealed on Tuesday. READ () »

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup
Photo: DPA

Union bosses call for later starts in World Cup

German unions called on Tuesday for shift workers to be granted later starts during the football World Cup in Brazil this summer. Some of the matches begin at midnight due to the time difference. READ () »

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing
Photo: DPA

Parents' house burnt as son went clubbing

A man who had thrown a party at his parents' empty mansion over Easter in central Germany returned after clubbing to find the entire building on fire. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
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
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Advertisement:
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
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
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

3,050
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd