Police call for strict hooligan stadium ban
In order to stem a dramatic increase in hooliganism in Germany, the country's national police union (GdP) on Thursday appealed to a federal court to allow violent football fans to be banned from stadiums even if they don't have a criminal conviction.
The measure is necessary for the prevention of violence at matches, GdP leader Konrad Freiberg told daily Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Thursday.
On Friday, the court will address the case of a Bayern Munich fan who was banned from German stadiums for two years, even though the criminal investigation against him was suspended for lack of evidence. The man denies taking part in rioting, but Freiberg said the ban was “acceptable” and within the rights of the stadium owner.
Football fan violence is on the rise in Germany, with thousands of police on duty each weekend to prevent only the worst incidences at all league levels, Freiberg told the paper. Police are now forced to travel to small towns that are hardly visible on maps, he added.
Hooligans are also specifically targeting police officers with stones, rubbish bins, tear gas and smoke grenades, he said.
Alcohol is almost always a factor in fan violence, Freiburg told the paper, emphasising earlier demands to reduce availability on regional trains used by fans.