Authorities clamp down on football hooligans

Swiss football authorities have announced sanctions after a series of violent incidents prompted criticism from Fifa President Sepp Blatter.

This content was published on June 12, 2009 - 09:42

Twenty fans from Swiss Cup finalists Young Boys and FC Sion were banned from all stadiums for up to three years for violent acts and using fireworks after the match in Bern on May 20.

Sion had fought back from 2-0 down to beat Young Boys 3-2 in the 88th minute of a dramatic match. That evening several hundred fans from both teams clashed in the centre of Bern before and after the final. Police arrested a total of 63 fans.

Young Boys were also punished by the Swiss League after a referee was struck by a cigarette lighter thrown from the Stade de Suisse stands after a league match on April 23.

The Bern club must close part of the stadium for its first league match at home next season and ensure that fans with season tickets there don't gain access elsewhere. It was also fined SFr30,000 ($28,000).

Last month Blatter said Switzerland had a hooligan problem and was "five to ten years" behind the rest of Europe in tackling it.

In other recent incidents, Sion and Lucerne fans fought on the pitch after a Swiss Cup semifinal match, and FC Basel fans rioted at the Letzigrund stadium of main rival FC Zurich. Police arrested 12 fans at Zurich for violent behaviour.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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