Belgium sees dip in activities of football hooligans

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Hooligans are also getting older as fewer youngsters join the ranks, say authorities.

19 May 2008

BELGIUM - The Belgian Interior Ministry's Football Cell reports a big fall in the number of incidents of football hooliganism.
There are also fewer youngsters joining the ranks Belgium's hooligan firms.

The Football Cell's Jo Vanhecke told the daily 'Gazet van Antwerpen' that "Belgian hooligans are getting older and youngsters aren't joining their ranks."

"You're left with people in their twenties, but they give up too, once they start a family."

The legislation aimed to stamp out football violence is having an effect. The so-called football law stipulates that cases of fighting, racist or provocative language and vandalism can be tackled on the spot.

Hooligans are banned from attending matches. The length of any ban varies according to the gravity of the offence.

The system of police spotters that travel to away matches with fans is also helping to curb hooliganism.

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