German get tougher on football violence

13th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

13 February 2007, Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - Football hooligans in the German state of Saxony face immediate arrest in the case of future violence, the local interior minister Albrecht Buttolo said on Tuesday in the wake of riots at a game on the weekend. Buttolo said that so-called sports prosecutors will be on hand at high-risk games in the region and issue arrest warrants on the spot if violent scenes occur. Like German football supremo Theo Zwanziger on Monday, Buttolo threatened games behind closed door

13 February 2007

Leipzig, Germany (dpa) - Football hooligans in the German state of Saxony face immediate arrest in the case of future violence, the local interior minister Albrecht Buttolo said on Tuesday in the wake of riots at a game on the weekend.

Buttolo said that so-called sports prosecutors will be on hand at high-risk games in the region and issue arrest warrants on the spot if violent scenes occur.

Like German football supremo Theo Zwanziger on Monday, Buttolo threatened games behind closed doors in the case of further incidents.

"I definitely prefer an empty stadium over a funeral service for a policeman," he said.

The statements come in the wake of the latest incidents, around a Saxony cup game between Lok Leipzig and Erzgebirge Aue on Saturday.

Some 800 Lok fans attacked a police contingent of 300 after the game, with 39 officers injured and six hooligans temporarily detained.

The German football community, politicians and police expressed their outrage and partly blamed lax security of the Leipzig club for the violence.

Fourth division Leipzig dismissed the claims on Tuesday, saying they had organized a security meeting ahead of the game like in the past, with the city council and police present.

The Leipzig team, meanwhile, said it would walk off the pitch if anyone involved in the riots attended a game of theirs again.

"We reserve the right to walk off the pitch if we see these rioters again in a stadium. The team and the coach agreed on this. We want to send a signal," said Leipzig captain Holger Krauss.

DPA

Subject: German news

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