Germans set up task force against hooliganism

31st October 2006, Comments 0 comments

31 October 2006Frankfurt (dpa) - Senior German football officials agreed Tuesday on a "task force" to fight hooliganism and racism in and around the country's stadiums. The agreement between the heads of the German Football Federation (DFB) and German Football League (DFL) follows several incidents of fan violence and racist chants this season. Although the World Cup in Germany this summer passed off largely peacefully, German football officials have been dismayed to see an increase in hooliganism this sea

31 October 2006
Frankfurt (dpa) - Senior German football officials agreed Tuesday on a "task force" to fight hooliganism and racism in and around the country's stadiums.

The agreement between the heads of the German Football Federation (DFB) and German Football League (DFL) follows several incidents of fan violence and racist chants this season.

Although the World Cup in Germany this summer passed off largely peacefully, German football officials have been dismayed to see an increase in hooliganism this season.

The top-flight Bundesliga has largely escaped incidents of fan violence but clashes have been prevalent at lower league games.

There were also more than 40 arrests when German fans clashed with police during and after a Euro 2008 qualifying match in Slovakia earlier this month.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger and his DFL counterpart Werner Hackmann, meeting in Frankfurt, agreed on measures to step up its links with official fan clubs and fan projects.

The task force will seek to improve fan information and communication and include a security liaison official along with a fan integration officer.

It will be asked to provide a detailed report on developments in the regional associations and their clubs as well as in the Bundesliga.

The meeting followed a weekend of violence at matches in the second, third and fourth divisions, a cup match being abandoned last week after the linesman was hit by an object thrown from the crowd and two incidents of racist chants directed at Bundesliga players.

Over the weekend, a total 43 fans were detained after outbursts of violence around the second division match between Augsburg and 1860 Munich and a third-division game between Hertha Berlin II and Dynamo Dresden. There were also clashes involving a group of around 30 fans at the fourth-division game between Pforzheim and SVW Mannheim.

In addition, all 70 weekend matches in the lowest leagues of the central German Siegerland-Wittgenstein area were called off after weeks of violence towards match officials.

A first-division Bundesliga match and a German Cup match have also been marred this season by racist taunts from a section of fans, with Germany's Ghana-born international striker Gerald Asamoah a victim of monkey chants while playing in Rostock.

"We will be trying to minimise these sort of incidents but we won't be able to eradicate them completely," Hackmann said.

As part of its efforts, the DFB will be looking to impose stricter conditions regarding ground improvements in the lower leagues.

Zwanziger said: "It is clear that this phenomenon of violence is being experienced more strongly in the regional leagues (third division) and the lower leagues.

"We have been following this with some concern for a long time. We have to respond to this."

The DFB had already called for a meeting with all the country's official fan projects in January or February next year to discuss fan issues.

DPA

Subject: German news

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