DFL passes controversial security regulations initiative

31 of Germany’s 36 Bundesliga clubs were in favor of the Secure stadium experience regulations. Many fans are outraged by the decision.

Rainhard Rauball was seemingly a relieved man after today’s decision in favor of stricter security policies. The DFL president told the press after the meeting of the 36 Bundesliga clubs in Frankfurt:

We can assure all football fans that these decisions won’t endanger football culture. They have been put in place to protect it. The outside threat of abolishing standing terraces is now of the table.

16 new measures were included in the new paper, and all of them are going to be implemented. Many fan groups have already pointed out that some measures are too far reaching, and in some cases against the German constitution. Full body checks which force fans to fully undress have to be conducted by the police or a physician according to German law.

The amount of tickets for away fans is going to be reduced at some Bundesliga matches, in case of clubs considering a match to entail a high risk of fan violence. (Up to this date at least 10% of the tickets for a Bundesliga was set aside for away fans.) The clubs need to justify the decision when informing the DFL and the DFB well ahead of the match in question.

”An unecassary step to take”

The fans fear on their side that stricter controls and fewer tickets for away fans might lead to fewer fans watching the matches from the stands.

Union Berlin were one of the five clubs voting against the new measures. Union’s president Dirk Zingler sided with the fans after the DFL had finished their assembly in Frankfurt, stating:

Every number which was brought up in this discussion over the last few months has clearly shown that the clubs who have worked with the local authorities and football assosiations have done their outmost to ensure that going to the stadium is a secure experience. There isn’t any reason to bow to the political pressure and portray an image of us being capable of taking actions, because there was never any question about wether or not we are in fact capable of acting when it mattered.

More protests to come

The majority of fans is probably not surprised by the DFL’s actions today. Philipp Markhardt, spokesman for the organisation ”Pro Fans” and the 12:12 protests, told the SID afterwards that the fans are going to continue their protests just the same.

I fully expect there to be more protests in the coming weeks. The 1000 fans who had made their way to Frankfurt to protest were already speaking about possible upcoming actions. Boycotting the atmosphere of the stadiums and other forms of protests can go on well into March.

Markhardt added that even the boycot of an entire match day might be amongst the actions taken by the fans.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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