Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter has urged cities and cantons to strike hard against violence committed on the sidelines of football matches. “More courage is needed in the fight against hooligans,” Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung quoted the minister as saying.
“To defeat hooligans, all you have to do is enforce the laws. Everything is already available: criminal law, criminal procedure, explosives law and the hooligan agreement. The toolbox is on the table,” the minister said in an interview published on Thursday by the German-language newspaper. “You just have to have the courage to use these instruments.”
Keller-Sutter asks Swiss cantonal authorities to make full use of police forces and public prosecutors. Cities, which are responsible for policing, are also partly obliged to participate, she adds.
Collusion between clubs and fans
“There is a close relationship between economic interests, sport, culture and politics. This makes it more difficult to take strong action,” says Keller-Sutter, the former minister of justice and police for canton St Gallen.
Sport Minister Viola Amherd recently made similar statements. In early July, an agreement was reached to improve cooperation between football clubs and the authorities. It was also decided at this meeting to implement measures such as the stadium ban more systematically.
But on the sidelines of football matches, the violence continues. Scuffles broke out on Wednesday evening in Swiss capital Bern as Serbian supporters marched to the Swiss stadium for the match between Bern’s Young Boys and Red Star of Belgrade
Several people were attacked, according to local media reports, and one person wounded through unclear circumstances. The police fired warning shots to restore calm.
Last week in Zurich, a man boarding a bus was attacked in front of his two children by a Zurich fan following a match against FC St Gallen. The 40-year-old victim, who suffered serious head injuries, had to be hospitalized.