GdP concerned about violence at football games

Cologne (dpa) – The police union is concerned about increasing violence in the context of football games and fears a further escalation.

Crossing borders would increase, the clubs would withdraw and hardly do anything against violent fans, said Deputy Federal Chairman Michael Mertens to the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. “If something doesn’t change soon, there could be deaths,” warned the state chairman of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Recently there had been riots by violent German fans at the Conference League game of 1. FC Köln at OGC Nice and at the Champions League game of Eintracht Frankfurt at Olympique Marseille. Numerous people were injured. In Mertens’ opinion, after the end of the corona-related ghost games, there is a “pent-up need to let off steam” in the violent scene. “It was like that at the end of last season and it will continue in the new one.”

He demands a lifelong stadium ban from the clubs for those involved. “The clubs themselves must have an interest in football remaining a family event,” said the trade unionist. 1. FC Köln recently announced that they would exclude convicted violent criminals from the club and impose a stadium ban on them.

Fan expert Michael Gabriel had recently noted a growing willingness to use violence. “In our opinion, this has become even more important and valuable within the ultra groups,” said the head of the fan projects coordination office on Deutschlandfunk. According to Gabriel, the recent increase in violent incidents at the international level is worrying and “very, very disturbing” in its dimensions. In his opinion, it was lucky that “there were no deaths” in the two games in France .

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220921-99-850148/3

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