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FOOTBALL

German football clubs face possible security bill at high-risk games

Bundesliga football clubs can be requested to pay for police deployments at high-risk matches, a German court ruled on Friday, to the dismay of the league.

German football clubs face possible security bill at high-risk games
Photo: Carmen Jaspersen/DPA
Ruling on a case brought by the German Football League (DFL) against Bremen police, the federal administrative court in Leipzig found that it was legitimate to charge a fee “for special police deployment at high-risk events of a commercial nature”.
 
The court did not rule however on the specific case of Bremen. Rather, it sent the affair back to a local court in the northern German city.
 
Bremen authorities welcomed the ruling, with the official in charge of interior affairs, Ulrich Maeurer, calling it a “historic decision”. 
 
“It's about the fundamental question, can we get the DFL to partly pay for police deployment? And the answer is clearly yes,” he said.
 
The league's president Reinhard Rauball voiced his disappointment, saying the ruling was “certainly not what we expected”.
 
The league had filed the lawsuit against Bremen police after they sent a bill to the DFL for a massive deployment during a derby match between Werder Bremen and Hamburg in April 2015.

POLICE

German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.

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