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Football | Germany

Hans Joachim Watzke © Gallo Images

Dortmund boss calls for courts at stadiums



In the fight to rid Germany's football grounds of violence, Borussia Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke has called for law courts to be held at stadiums to immediately jail offenders.

"It would help unbelievably if you could look up violent offenders immediately," Dortmund's managing director Watzke told west German newspaper Der Western.

"Anyone offending would have to explain himself if he didn't turn up for work (on Monday)."

Last October, more than 200 fans were arrested after rival Borussia and Schalke fans clashed in Dortmund before the Ruhr derby.

Watzke says it is not right that fans can act violently in football grounds at the weekend, then walk scot-free after being arrested, charged and waiting to be tried.

Violence at Germany's football stadiums is a hot topic here after the 36 clubs in Germany's top two league's voted last December to accept the German Football League's (DFL) 'Safe Stadium Experience' paper which outlines new security measures.

Full-body searches are part of the new regulations, allowing clubs to search fans suspected of bringing items such as flares, dangerous weapons or banners with offensive slogans into stadiums.

The Bundesliga match between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt was briefly delayed a fortnight ago after hooligans lit flares and fireworks, which began landing on a corner of the pitch.

"If you want to prevent people bringing pyrotechnics and flares into stadiums, you have to tighten the controls," said Watzke.

"And then people will cry: 'Our liberty is being curtailed!'

"Everyone knows what they want, but they want to take the gentle approach.

"That won't work. It's important to have prevention and dialogue."

Recent reports suggest a minority of Dortmund fans have right-wing views, an element Watzke wants to see removed from their Signal Iduna Park stadium.

"It has been reported, quite terribly, that there are people with right-wing extremist backgrounds in the Dortmund stands," he said.

"Logically, 1.9 percent of voters in Dortmund vote for the right, so if football is a reflection of society, then in the 80 645 spectators in our stadium, 1532 vote for the right.

"We have said clearly: we only want to have people who respect basic laws.

"Anyone who doesn't, with words or deeds, we will throw out!

"We have a strong package of measures against anyone with right-wing tendencies."

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