German football struggling to contain growing violence

The police report said the 2011/12 season had the highest number of criminal proceedings in 12 years

German football is struggling to contain growing violence with newly released 2011/12 season figures hitting a 12-year-high despite a financial boom and the world's highest average match attendance.

The police report said the 2011/12 season had the highest number of criminal proceedings in 12 years, almost double the amount of injured fans and a more than 20 percent rise in police work hours from the previous season.

Widespread crowd trouble before the Ruhr valley derby between champions Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 late last month and more fighting when Hanover 96 met Dynamo Dresden in the German Cup days later have merely been timely reminders of the existing problem.

"There is nothing to indicate that there is a turning point and a decrease of violence-ready potential within fan groups from Bundesliga to the regional division clubs," the report of the police's central information point for the deployment in sport (ZIS) said.

"For criminal proceedings, injuries and work hours these are the highest figures in 12 years. On top of that criminal proceedings were up 70 percent, work hours up 40 percent and injuries up 120 percent from the 12-year average."

The figures are a stark contrast to the league's financial growth and popularity both within and beyond the German borders as it gradually closes the gap with Europe's top leagues in England and Spain in terms of finances.

With average attendances of over 42,000 fans per game, upgraded or new stadiums and largely debt-free clubs, the Bundesliga recorded its seventh straight year of growth in 2010/11 with the 18 top division clubs alone generating almost 2.0 billion euros. Figures for 2011/12 are not yet available.

A total of 8,143 criminal proceedings against individuals were launched during the last season compared to 5,818 the previous one while the number of injuries almost doubled from 843 in 2010/11 to 1,142.

The total number of potentially violent fans had also risen by 10 percent to 16,500 for 2011/12, the report said.

Police officials said apart from trouble outside the stadium, some problems inside were caused by fans in standing tribunes where they could more easily get away with lighting flares and smoke bombs.

Standing tribunes are allowed in Germany but flares are banned.

The figures are bad news for the organisers of Germany's top two divisions, the German football league (DFL), as they prepare to tackle violence with a new security concept to be approved next month.

The DFL initially drew up its "secure stadium experience" concept foreseeing tougher entry checks but met with immediate rejection from some fan clubs last month, who said spectators were not consulted in the process.

The DFL hastily rowed back saying it would seek input from fan clubs and review its proposal before putting it to a vote on Dec. 12

"It is important that everyone involved takes on their responsibility and acts accordingly," the DFL said in a brief statement on Monday after the release of the report. "In the search for solutions there is no need to dramatise things or play them down.

"With this in the background, the leagues are working together with the clubs and in a dialogue with all sides for practical solutions with good judgement that will be on the agenda at the meeting on Dec. 12."

Reuters

Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football
News
news
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
News
Melissa and Joan Rivers together at an NBC event in May 2014
peopleDaughter Melissa thanks fans for 'outpouring of support'
Life and Style
life
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
peopleWrestling veteran drifting in and out of consciousness
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone