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Football hooligans pay penalty

Twenty-six hooligans who wreaked havoc in Basel after their team lost a vital game in 2006 have received suspended fines and prison terms.

The Basel court gave the heaviest sentences – between nine and 12 months suspended jail terms – to three men who had put other people’s lives at risk. Two were found guilty of dropping heavy items onto the street and the third had thrown flares at the police.

The remaining 23 – who included one woman – were found guilty of various offences including rioting, violence, threats and damaging property. They received suspended fines.

The violence broke out when a last-minute goal from visiting Zurich robbed Basel of the Swiss championship.

Hundreds of disappointed Basel supporters responded by storming the pitch and attacking police, while others rampaged outside the stadium.

Some 115 people were injured, and the damage was estimated at SFr400,000 ($344,100).

The event, described as one of the worst episodes of post-match violence in Switzerland, has been nicknamed “The shame of Basel”.

Police in Basel welcomed the court’s verdicts, saying they gave a clear signal to all who contemplated using violence at sports events.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR