• Germany's news in English

Football fans heat up stadium security debate

The Local · 23 Jan 2013, 06:56

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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."

Story continues below…

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."


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd