Violence still affects Swiss football and ice hockey games

Scene from a match between FC Basel and FC Aarau, May 2014. Keystone / Patrick B. Kraemer

The level of hooligan violence at Swiss football and ice hockey games has remained stable over the past two years, according to an official police report.

This content was published on October 1, 2020 - 12:43

Though a direct comparison is difficult, since the sporting seasons were interrupted by Covid-19 back in March, the general picture remains stable, said the Federal Office of Police (Fedpol) on Thursday.

When it comes to the Super League and Challenge League – football’s top two tiers in Switzerland – 27 of 323 games in the 2019-2020 season were affected by “severe violent incidents”, compared to 48 of 457 games in the 2018-2019 season.

For ice-hockey, 21 of the 666 games played in the top two leagues last season were affected by violence, compared with 12 of the 708 the year before.

The most common offences last year were breaching the peace (387 cases), infringements of the explosives law (298), not adhering to the ban on face-coverings (251) and engaging in violence or intimidation towards authorities (168).

The ‘Hoogan’ database, a register of known hooligans, contained 1,525 names in June 2020, Fedpol said. The lion’s share (1,089) were linked to football, and just 23 of them were female.

Police have been trying to crack down on violence at football and hockey games in recent years; in 2016, a nationwide office was launched to coordinate efforts between cantons, football authorities, and ice hockey authorities.

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