Football hooliganism falls in top leagues

Football hooliganism falls in top leagues
Photo: DPA
Football hooliganism has declined in Germany’s top leagues but is on the march in lower divisions and is putting extra strain on police forces.

The number of football fans hurt in league matches last season has dropped by nearly a third, while crime incidents sank by 20 percent, according to a report.

In their annual report, Germany’s Central Information Office for Sports Deployment (ZIS) said injuries at German first and second division grounds had dropped from 1,142 cases in the 2011-12 season to 788 in the 2012-13 season.

During the same period, the number of prosecuted crimes also fell from 8,143 to 6,502.

“Fewer injuries and fewer crimes among the 18 million spectators who attended matches in the previous Bundesliga season is a good figure,” said German politician Ralf Jäger, the interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, in Düsseldorf.

The news was less than impressive further down the leagues with the number of injuries at third division matches rising by just over 50 percent last season.

“The incidents of violence and riots at third division games is still too high,” added Jäger.

The amount of man hours spent policing German Bundesliga matches in the last ten years has nearly doubled from 900,800 to 1.75 million, something Jäger has dubbed “unacceptable”. “Our goal is to use fewer police officers at future football matches,” he added.

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