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Police ask football leagues to foot the bill for hooliganism

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Police ask football leagues to foot the bill for hooliganism
Photo: DPA
13:07 CET+01:00
After the latest football violence left 29 police slightly injured in Rostock, the police union on Wednesday demanded Germany's leagues pay up to €50 million a season to combat hooliganism.

“We are waiting for the German Football Federation (DFB) and the Bundesliga (DFL) to take a reasonable share of these costs,” the union's national chairman, Rainer Wendt, told broadcaster ZDF.

“A flat charge that paid for a season – something like €50 million – would be a real friendship price,” Wendt said. “The personnel costs alone for police deployments at football matches are clearly more than €100 million."

The union has been deeply critical in the past of fixtures of so-called “problem matches,” such as the meeting between Hansa Rostock and St Pauli on Monday night.

These matches are in the police union's view entirely commercially driven, Wendt said.

He also demanded that police have a say in scheduling matches. Night time games are a problem for police because of the darkness outside the stadiums, he said.

An investigation has begun into the violence in Rostock, in the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in which 500 violent supporters of Hansa Rostock tried to breach a police barrier and threw stones, bottles and firecrackers after their club lost to visiting St Pauli 2-0.

The two clubs have a history of conflict.

One suspect had been identified by a security video recording, said Rostock public prosecutor Peter Lückemann. The suspect had thrown several stones but did not appear to have caused any injuries.

Some 23 suspects – all Rostock supporters – were arrested on Monday but all were released overnight.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger has previously accused the police union of stirring fear among fans and described earlier remarks by Wendt as “irresponsible.”

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