Football hooligans could be banned for a decade
German football hooligans could be banned from matches for up to 10 years, although a crackdown on violence and sports security stopped short of making all stadiums in the country all-seaters.
The decision follows a meeting in Berlin of representatives of 53 of Germany's 54 professional clubs and the federal and regional interior ministries, following a run of football-related violence last season.
The only team missing was Union Berlin, daily newspaper Die Welt said on Wednesday.
"A considerable reinforcement in the severity of stadium bans is expected and will increase from three years currently to five and even 10 years for the most serious cases," the participants said in a joint statement.
Firecrackers will remain banned and clubs will now be able to take action against organised groups of supporters, such as revising reserved ticket allocations if the rules are not respected.
Football clubs will increase the amount they spend on security by 50 percent, alleviating pressure on local authorities, which will be contributing 25 percent of the €9 million spent on additional secutiry, Die Welt said.
Standing terraces, while being banned in a number of countries, are to remain as “an integral part of the culture of German football supporters," the group decided.
Several serious incidents occurred last season, notably at the end of a match in mid-May between second division Karlsruhe and third division Ratisbon, which left 75 people injured, including 18 police officers.
The head of the German football federation Wolfgang Niersbach called the move “an important step that clubs are sticking together.
"The measures taken are a necessary and urgent sign showing that everyone is fulfilling their responsibilities and committing to improving security."
The changes will be put in place in time for the start of the new season, the paper reported.
“Football in Germany is a model for success and should stay that way in the future,” said German Football League (DFL) president Reinhard Rauball.