Police union concerned about football ultras and violence

Die Police Union is concerned about increasing violence around 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.

Most recently, there were riots by violent German fans, for example at the Conference League game 1. FC Cologne at OGC Nice and at Eintracht Frankfurt's Champions League game at Olympique Marseille. Numerous people were injured.

"Backlog demand when letting off steam"

According to Mertens, after the end of the corona-related ghost games, there will be a “pent-up need to let off steam” in the violent scene. "It was like that at the end of last season, 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, head of the Coordination Office for Fan Projects (KOS), recently noted a growing propensity to use violence. "In our opinion, this has become even more important within the ultra groups, has gained greater value," Gabriel told 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.

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