Turkish government to raise crackdown on football disorder, violence

Turkish government to raise crackdown on football disorder, violence

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish government to raise crackdown on football disorder, violence

Police intervene as fans break the seats and throw them onto the pitch in a PTT League One football game. The Turkish government says it will take more measures to battle ‘disorder in football.’ DHA photo

More than 4,000 football fans were investigated and 2,000 of them were banned from stadiums as part of the law on violence in sports, Turkey’s Interior Minister Muammer Güler said yesterday.

Speaking at the “Preventing the Violence and Disorder in Sports” Workshop, Güler said many fans were charged with disorder since the law came into effect in late 2010.

The minister informed that 1,096 people were under investigation for trying to bring banned substances into the stadium, 1,099 people were charged with profane slogans and 313 were banned for entering the stadium without a proper ticket.

Güler highlighted that 1,319 of them were students, 418 were workers, 45 were public officers, 18 were private security, two were police officers and three of them were journalists.

The law was criticized for containing excessively severe measures when it came into effect in 2010, but Güler said that they would continue cracking down on violence and disorder with increased controls.

More control

“The controls will be more effective in the future,” Güler said, adding that there would be a databank to detect who was charged with sports crimes.

The minister said that some police officers in plain clothes would be deployed in stands where hooligans were mostly sitting and would even stand on away ends.

Another point of criticism of the law was that the requirement of the ID number of fans when purchasing tickets, but the Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç defended the decision, which was yet to come into effect.

“The new ticket ruling is being criticized for violating people’s private lives, but this is not right,” Kılıç said, adding that the practice would start in stadiums in Istanbul, Trabzon and Bursa, the hometowns of five champion teams in the Turkish top-flight. The Minister, however, added that all teams would be required to start the new ticket practice gradually in the new Spor Toto Super League season.

Both Güler and Kılıç insisted that cameras should be implemented at the stadiums. “The Turkish Football Federation has completed its works, the plan will go to a bidding soon,” Kılıç said of “360-degree-camera” plan.