how other European leagues deal with fan issues

The Ligue 1 season has been marred by numerous incidents since last summer. All over France. The last episode led to the end of the clash between OL and OM on Sunday at Groupama Stadium. The opportunity to take a look at our European neighbors, to see how they organize themselves in the face of the excesses of some supporters.

The authorities are in control in Italy

When a match is interrupted in France due to an incident, the decision to resume or not rests with the referee. This is what happened on Sunday at Groupama Stadium, when Ruddy Buquet put an end to the clash between OL and OM. In Italy, the situation is different. In the event of a concern of this kind, the arbitrator is not the decision-maker because he is considered a civilian. It is the representatives of the State present at the stadium (the prefect in general) who must decide whether or not to resume play.

Luca Marelli, a former Serie A referee, is also astonished at the operation set up in Ligue 1. « It is not a good idea because the referee cannot know all the dynamics related to security in the stadium, he told RMC Sport. He cannot know if it escalates because tensions can move from inside to outside the enclosure, while he is in his referee’s locker room . The referee can only be based on his impressions which are only partial. And therefore his decision would be based on feeling more than on facts. The best solution is the Italian solution which consists in assuming that the judgment of a match is a public order responsibility. « 

In recent years, the situation has improved significantly around Italian football. There was a great repression, including more extensive controls at the entrance to the stadiums. There remains the thorny problem of racism in the stands. But when it comes to physical violence, the incidents have declined for several years.

>> OL-OM incidents: live information

Germany facing increasing violence

On the other hand, clubs from across the Rhine have been facing an upsurge in violent incidents in recent times. Extreme right-wing violence. Some amateur teams are downright driven by extremist movements. The Bundesliga is no exception to this phenomenon. For example, there are nearly 200 far-right supporters in Dortmund’s yellow wall. Certain formations of former East Germany are also concerned.

So far, no strong action has been taken to address the problem. There are quite a few points of order on this subject. During high-risk matches, the beer is alcohol-free and security services are reinforced. The stadium bans are also three times higher than those pronounced in France, but this observation should be put into perspective because the German stadiums know a much higher attendance than those of France. Overall, the systems in place do not make it possible to fight effectively in the face of the scale of the situation.

Spain got rid of the ultras

In Spain, the ultra movement is very marginal today. The big clubs in the country, like FC Barcelona or Real Madrid, have simply chased away groups that posed a problem, like Boixos Nois or Ultras Sur. Atlético de Madrid took advantage of their change of stadium in 2017 to reduce the place of the ultra group Frente Atlético. The clubs have decided to distance themselves from the supporters’ associations and that has changed the situation.

La Liga has also become very severe and harshly punishes the slightest slip. Even when it comes to insults, considered an attack on human dignity. The Spanish League is also putting pressure on the clubs so that they definitively separate from the supporters who are creating concerns. Thirteen supporters of Real have for example been struck off for singing « Messi is mentally retarded ». A firmness which makes it possible to limit incidents around football matches.

England relatively spared

English football has been cleaning up its bleachers for a long time. The country’s hooligans, who disrupted meetings for years, have been banned from stadiums. And the atmosphere has become much more family. There are now very few incidents in the Premier League. It must be said that there are not really any ultra groups organized on the other side of the Channel. The League and the clubs are anyway extremely severe in the event of a problem. The culture is also different compared to France. In March 2019, when a spectator stepped onto the pitch to punch Jack Grealish in the Championship derby between Birmingham and Aston Villa, no one thought of stopping the encounter. The midfielder got up and play resumed.

Portugal tries to carry out repression

In recent years, many clubs in Portugal have been penalized due to the behavior of their supporters. One of the most publicized cases is that of Moussa Marega. The Malian striker of FC Porto was the victim of racist cries coming from the stands during a match in, Guimarares, in February 202. The club had been sentenced to three matches behind closed doors, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport canceled the match. sentence. And this is often what happens in Portugal, where the courts regularly overturn convictions from sports bodies.

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