New proposal to crack down on hooliganism

Justice minister Peter Hummelgaard said it was a strong signal to send those who don’t behave themselves in connection with football games

Football in Denmark has experienced a riveting rise in popularity in recent years, buoyed by hosting Euro 2020 games and the country’s performance in said tournament.

Unfortunately, violence in connection with football has also spiked, an issue that has spurred the government into action.

That led to the establishment of an expert group last year to look into what could be done to curb the undesirable elements of the game. That led to a new law proposal today.

Taking root in recommendations from the expert group, the government’s proposal includes:

– the list of punishable actions that can lead to quarantines from football games to be expanded so that those banned must keep distance (500m for home games and 3,000m for away games) from stadiums where the game is being played. 

– fighting, theft or forcing others to give up their football shirts can result in bans of up to four years.

– the police can assist stewards identify individuals who have breached club rules, though not by passing on personal data to the stewards.

– the police have the opportunity to detain certain fan sections following matches in order to avoid confrontations with rival fan groups.

– people who display threatening behaviour at football games can be expelled from where the game is held – minimum 500m from the venue and from six hours before kickoff until six hours after the match is over.

– the law proposal encompasses all Denmark games and matches involving teams from the Superliga, Division 1 and Division 2 – including friendlies and European matches being played in Denmark.

READ ALSO: Denmark has a hooligan problem

Police, fans and clubs involved
“I have been going to games for years and I think the atmosphere is fantastic. But I’ve also experienced how quickly things can turn,” said justice minister, Peter Hummelgaard.

“It should be safe for families and other fans to be at football games, and that’s not the case when people are fighting and seats are being ripped off and thrown at stewards and the police. We shouldn’t accept that kind of behaviour.”

The expert group that formulated recommendations consisted of representatives from the police, fans, Divisionsforeningen league association, Superliga clubs and the national team association, DBU.