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Football hooligans to face tough measures

A hooligan is expelled during a match between Aarau and Lucerne

(Keystone)

The government has proposed introducing temporary tougher measures against hooligans in the lead-up to the 2008 European football championships.

Travel restrictions, preventative detention and the banning of troublemakers are among the proposals to be presented to parliament. A decision had already been taken to set up a database of known hooligans.

The football championships will take place in Switzerland and Austria.

Under the measures, known hooligans could be banned from certain areas or forbidden to travel abroad for a match.

Where the initial restrictions are broken, individuals could be required to report regularly to the police. The ultimate sanction for hooligans would be a maximum 24-hour detention period.

Temporary

It is intended that the temporary measures should only remain in place until the end of 2008 when the championships are over.

The government said these measures, which are already in force in other countries, are "indispensable to the smooth running of Euro '08".

Switzerland expects a massive influx of football fans for the event. Last year's European championships in Portugal attracted more than a million spectators, with around 38,000 attending each game.

The fear that hooliganism could disrupt the championships was brought home to policymakers earlier this year after clashes between Basel and Zurich club supporters.

The authorities must now clarify whether the proposed anti-hooligan legislation can be integrated into federal law or adopted at the cantonal level.

The proposals also contain a provision against incitement to violence, strengthening powers to seize and confiscate propaganda material. This includes suspect material from any extremist sources.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The measures proposed by the government include:
Police powers to seize and confiscate extremist propaganda material;
National database of hooligans;
Exclusion of troublemakers from sporting zones during matches;
Obliging known hooligans to present themselves at police stations;
Preventative detention (maximum 24 hours) as a last resort.

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