Turkey expands sports violence code
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
The Turkish parliament approved an expanded code against violence in sports late on July 4.
With the legislation, people who encourage violence in sports on media will be banned from watching matches in sports venues for a year.
The previous penalty for this was a three month ban from stadiums or sports halls.
Any person possessing a blade or sharp object, item that may cause injury, explosive material, sparklers or inflammable substance in stadiums or training grounds will face an at least six-month prison term that can be extended to two years.
Also included in the amendment was that stadium or club security officials are not to allow intoxicated viewers into stadiums or training grounds.
Turkish police or gendarmerie are to take the digital information about violators following legal decisions of courts or prosecutor's offices so security forces can use biometric tracking methods.
Any person threatening the security of a match will be handed a jail term of at least one year that could be extended to three. Previously, the maximum of this penalty had been one year.
In addition, racist or sexist expressions or behavior in sports venues will receive at least one year in prison, with the option to increase to three years.
Turkish authorities have long been trying to tackle hooliganism and violence in football.
In April 2014, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) ditched paper tickets in favor of their electronic counterparts, introducing the "Passolig" (League pass) card.
The new practice aimed to achieve better identification violent behavior and its perpetrators in stadiums.
Football fans in Turkey have to apply for their Passolig cards to watch games in venues, after which they are required to load deposits to their cards depending on the games they would like to watch.