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World Cup Swiss anti-hooligan experts dispatched to Russia

Masked football hooligan holding flares

For more than ten years Swiss police experts have assisted the organisers of international football tournaments to crack down on hooliganism.

(Keystone)

Switzerland is sending five police experts to the football World Cup in Russia to advise local security forces about potential hooligans.

The Federal Police Office said two members would operate from a Moscow-based international cooperation centre.

The three other members will be present at the sites of football matches with the Swiss team – notably in Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad and Nizhny Novgorod, to help ensure security for the fans.

The policemen are unarmed and will not be involved in possible arrests, according to a spokeswoman of police office.

Observers have warned of an increased risk of violence around the match Serbia vs Switzerland at the group stage of the tournament on June 22.

The World Cup takes place between June 14 and July 15.

The Swiss Football Association and security forces have been struggling to rein in hooligans in Zurich, Basel and Bern.

Following a match of the Swiss championship in April, hooligans from Zurich went on the rampage in a train, prompting the railway staff to abandon the train.

Last year, a man was given a three-year prison sentence for throwing firebombs at a football match.

+ A landmark court ruling on hooligans

swissinfo.ch with SDA-ATS; urs


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