Turkey seeks way to sway UEFA over police at games

Turkey seeks way to sway UEFA over police at games

Turkey seeks way to sway UEFA over police at games

Turkish Sports and Youth Minister Suat Kılıç says deterrent penalties were needed to fight against hooliganism. AA photo

The Turkish government is mulling ways to convince UEFA over the authorization of police officers to oversee the security at games, as part of its new plan to tighten security measures in the wake of the eventful Beşiktaş-Galatsaray derby.

The Turkish Sports and Youth Ministry has asked the Football Federation to negotiate with UEFA, which banned the presence of police forces in the stadiums in 2004, as a re-introduction of police officers at the games is the most significant measure of the government’s four-step plan aimed at avoiding violence in football games.

Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç had announced the roadmap to be followed to tackle hooliganism on Sept. 24, two days after the Spor Toto Super League derby between Beşiktaş and Galatasaray that was halted in its final minutes, after dozens of fans flocked to the pitch.

The Football Federation will ask UEFA for an exceptional solution formula, arguing “safety of life” is at risk during the games.

As UEFA is mainly opposed to the presence of armed and uniformed police working inside the stadiums, the Turkish authorities are also considering the option of authorizing civilian dressed police.
Tougher penalties eyed

In a press meeting on Sept. 26, the minister Kılıç stressed that the law number 6222, titled Law to Prevent Violence and Disorder in Sports, was a significant step in the fight against hooliganism but that more deterrent penalties were needed.

“In the new law, our will is to raise the upper limit of bans from three months to one year. We also have will for execution of prison sentences. The penalties should be more dissuasive,” he said.

The minister was also critical of the release of 27 of some 29 people taken into the custody in relation to the events which occurred at the Beşiktaş-Galatasary derby after being questioned by police.

“The ones police took into custody have been freed. But I don’t know based on what reasons,” he said.

While released supporters are banned from attending sport games and arenas for one year, the other two people still kept in custody will be sent to the court, according to reports.

The fans who were allegedly involved in crowd disorder were identified through CCTV footage.