Turkish government announces 4-item plan to curb hooliganism
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
AFP PhotoThe Turkish government has unveiled a new plan to tackle football-related violence in the wake of an Istanbul derby that was halted after the pitch was invaded by fans in the final minutes of the game.
Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç yesterday announced a four-step plan against football-related violence, making it clear that the law number 6222, titled Law to Prevent Violence and Disorder in Sports, which came into effect in 2011, would be comprehensively executed.
The most significant measure of the four-step plan is the re-introduction of police officers to oversee the security at games, instead of private security.
“We have seen the inadequacy of private security again at Sunday’s derby,” Kılıç said. “For that reason, replacing private security with the police will be an important step toward the solution. We aim to tackling hooliganism.”
On Sept. 22, the Spor Toto Super League derby between Beşiktaş and Galatasaray was halted in its final minutes, after dozens of fans flocked to the pitch. Beşiktaş chairman Fikret Orman announced a day later that the club had canceled its contract with the security company.
“Private security does not run away from the fans, it chases them,” Orman said. “We saw a comedy like that.”
Other steps included the use of CCTV footage to detect fans who were involved in crowd trouble and the e-ticket system. According to the e-ticket ruling, fans will only be able to buy and use games tickets by providing their personal ID number.
Fans will be given an electronic card which includes the person’s full name, citizenship number and photograph; tickets purchased by the individual will then be loaded onto this card. The information of the individuals who have such cards will be stored in a main database belonging to the sports federations, with access granted to the interior and finance ministries.
The ministry planned to launch the project in six stadiums and to fully launch it at the start of the new year.
Kılıç added that the postponing of prison sentences for fans found guilty had been canceled.
The Minister said that the government had been preparing this plan for a long time, but admitted that the plan was fast-tracked after the eventful derby.
According to the law on violence in sports, sports fans will not be admitted to sports facilities to watch games if they are under the influence of alcohol; those under the influence who do manage to enter grounds will subsequently be removed by force. At the same time, fans who hurl insults will also receive a judicial fine regardless of whether a formal complaint is filed.
On Sept. 23, an Istanbul prosecutor ordered the banning of 67 fans for one year for entering the pitch forcing the suspension of the Spor Toto Super League derby.