30 September 1999
Committee on Culture and Education
Rapporteur: Mr. Gerrit Valk, Netherlands, Socialist Group
For debate in the Standing Committee see
Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure
Pour débat à la Commision permanente Voir
article 47 du Règlement
The Assembly considers that football hooliganism is a threat to the
sport and that more efforts will have to be made to reduce it. Safety measures should be
complemented by social preventive measures and an increased effort in the field of
The European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sport
Events and in particular Football Matches should be fully implemented. A long-term
integrated approach in which all parties concerned make binding arrangements is needed.
Players, clubs and national and international football authorities have responsibilities
and should assume them.
I. Draft recommendation
- The Assembly considers that football hooliganism is a threat to the sport and that more
efforts will have to be made to reduce hooliganism and prevent the occurrence of incidents
such as those at the 1998 World Cup in France.
- It believes that the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at
Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches of 1985 is the appropriate framework
for co-operation in this field. According to Article 1 of the Convention, the Parties are
obliged to take the necessary steps to prevents and control violence and misbehaviour by
spectators at football matches and other sports event in which violence or misbehaviour by
spectators is to be feared.
- Since the adoption of the Convention hooliganism has changed gradually. Changes include:
- a more deliberate seeking out of confrontations by hooligans. The use of weapons and
drugs illustrate the deliberateness of the hooligans;
- an increase in hooligan planning, mobilisation, co-ordination and organisation. More
experienced hooligans play an important role, as do modern means of communication (mobile
phones, internet). Fan groups may form coalitions. Representatives of rival fan groups may
contact one another to discuss arrangements;
- a shift in place and time. Confrontations increasingly occur outside football stadia and
apart from football matches.
- The Assembly considers that, to succeed, safety measures should be complemented by
social preventive measures and an increased effort in the field of education.
- A long-term integrated approach, in which all parties concerned make binding
arrangements, is crucial for the reduction of hooliganism. Both clubs and national and
international football authorities have to assume their responsibilities.
- Players and clubs have a responsibility to prevent any behaviour on the playing field
that might provoke violence among fans.
- For an atmosphere conducive to tolerance and fair play, a balance has to be sought
between security and safety on the one hand and friendliness and hospitality on the other.
- Co-operation and co-ordination during international events are still far from optimal in
that many countries are not able to provide the necessary information and countries with a
lot of experience in dealing with hooligans often feel that their experience is not used
to the full.
- Sensationalist or exaggerated press reports, sometimes enhancing nationalist tendencies,
contribute to a climate conducive to hooliganism, especially in the periods leading up to
- Communication is a key factor in the prevention or escalation of incidents and this does
not apply only to communication within and between those involved in security.
Communication with fans by police officers, stewards and fan coaches contributes to the
prevention of incidents, especially if people familiar to them address fans in their own
- An important contribution to the prevention of hooliganism is by excluding known
hooligans from attending matches. Alcoholic drinks should be banned from stadia.
- The possibilities to manage a temporary event such as a championship safely are
constrained by the long term policies (or lack of them) in the participating countries.
- The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers continue and reinforce its work
against hooliganism in sport on the basis of the European Convention, in association with
governments and the relevant sports bodies, clubs, associations and stadia owners, and in
With regard to hooliganism in general:
- Strengthening educational, social and cultural measures and strategies to prevent
- Requiring the taking of responsibilities by clubs, and national and international
football authorities by making it compulsory for them to make integrated safety plans,
including measures for the prevention of hooliganism, the appointment of fan-coaches and a
- Stimulating user-friendly stadia in which social control is made easier (for example by
encouraging family participation) and hospitality has priority (for example in the form of
seats, shelter, sanitation and the possibility to buy food and non-alcoholic drinks);
- Stimulating a more active involvement of fans and fan-societies, (for example in the
allocation of tickets);
- Developing a European approach to fan coaching;
- Stipulating that all football matches in national competitions, in countries where this
is necessary, have to be played simultaneously;
- Stimulating international co-operation and co-ordination along the lines of the European
Union "Handbook for international police-co-operation and measures to prevent and
control violence and disorder around football matches";
- Establishing permanent football intelligence units in each country and facilitating
regular consultations between them;
- Looking for ways to apply stadia bans internationally.
With regard to the organisation of Euro 2000 and future
international sports events:
- Stimulating international co-operation and co-ordination before and during the event by
complementing arrangements made in the organising countries, by providing feedback and by
a matching communications strategy;
- Encouraging all participating countries to send stewards and fan-coaches in large
- Stimulating an active and open media policy to help prevent exaggerated and unfounded
- Continuing research on "best practices" and the effectiveness of measures
taken to prevent hooliganism and evaluating international co-operation and co-ordination
before and during the event;
- Establishing international centres for visiting fans ("fan-homes") in places
where matches are to be played in order to inform and help fans in their own language;
- Organising publicity campaigns in each participating country, with the participation of
popular players, to encourage an atmosphere of festivity and tolerance.
II. Explanatory Memorandum by Mr Valk
- In June 1998 148 Members of the Parliamentary Assembly strongly condemned (in Written
Declaration No. 276, Doc. 8148) the acts of violence perpetrated by hooligans in several
French cities hosting the 1998 Football World Cup. These members stated, inter alia,
- the above mentioned acts of violence were perpetrated by a small minority among a great
many peaceful supporters
- the media, in particular television, gave a distorted image which was detrimental to
sport as a whole.
- the European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in
particular at Football Matches of 1985 was the appropriate framework for co-operation in
They called on those responsible to take such measures as were
necessary to prevent the recurrence of the deplorable scenes of violence.
- In the year 2000, the final rounds of the European Football Cup are to be held in
Belgium and the Netherlands.
- Those involved, in particular those instances directly engaged in football, have
repeatedly stated their willingness, and have actually taken initiatives, to decrease
hooliganism. It must nevertheless be stated that the phenomenon has far from vanished.
- In January 1999, the Assembly Bureau referred a motion for a recommendationon football
hooliganism presented by Mr Valk and others (Doc. 8279) to the Committee on Culture and
- On 10 May 1999, the Sub-Committee on Youth and Sport organised a hearing on the subject
in Paris (see Appendix). The rapporteur wishes to thank the consultant expert Dr Otto
Adang for his subsequent assistance in the preparation of the report.
B. Football Hooliganism
- Hooliganism already existed in the last century. Modern hooliganism exists since the
sixties in several countries. Boys and young men, aged between 15 and 25, collectively
engage in fights, demolitions and provocations. Their main targets are other groups, who
only differ from them in their being composed of fans of another football team.
- In commentaries following incidents it is commonly stated that these "fans" do
not deserve to be called supporters of their team. Other reports indicate that the
hooligans consider themselves to be the true fans: they support the team for better and
for worse, they create the highly praised "atmosphere" inside stadia. However
that may be, their allegiance to a football team is the main factor binding hooligans
together. Their main interest does not seem so much to see brilliant football, but to see
their team win. In addition, hooligans have their own match with rival fans. Sometimes
that match is the most important one. Football matches are used as an opportunity.
- The behaviour of the hooligans seems to be aimed at gaining prestige. The ability to
fight, group solidarity and loyalty, plus the aggressive defence of culturally defined
areas, are all elements of a satisfying masculine identity. Fighting at football is
largely about young males testing out their own reputations for manliness against those of
other similarly motivated young men.
- The rivalry between fan-groups and their confrontations seem in many ways comparable
with those between youth gangs, well known in e.g. the USA. Tribal fighting is another
Specific soccer factors.
- There is only a weak correlation between specific factors relating to football matches
and hooliganism. The result of the match is not important for the amount of violence that
occurs after the finish of the match. In general, present day hooliganism does not appear
to be caused by events on the playing field, such as contested referee decisions or
violence altercations between players. Of course, on occasion events of this type may lead
to violent altercations on the terraces, but the event on the playing field that most
influences hooliganism is the scoring of a goal point.
- Outside the stadia the frequency of violence is, in general, greater after the match
than before it. This appears to have little connection to the build up of frustrations
over the course of the match. Before the matches it appears that supporters are more
motivated to avoid being arrested (so as not to miss the match). In addition, co-ordinated
action on the part of the fans before the match requires more organisation and mutual
- Despite efforts to find a relationship between the hooligan and his social background,
there is from the multitude of data on this subject only one solid conclusion: there is no
systematic relationship between vandalism and social background. It appears on the
contrary that hooligans descend from all imaginable environments and are not pre-eminently
unemployed and such-like. Hooliganism or comparable behaviour is also not restricted to a
certain city, region, or country. Hooligans often resemble other young men who have
problems at school and in the family situation, particularly in connection to authority
figure relationships (conflict with teachers etc.) while social control for the greater
part is absent. Undoubtedly young men with a greater inclination to violence are attracted
to the possibilities offered by being part of a "side" and attending a risk
- Each time only a comparatively small section of the risk group was guilty of violent
behaviour. These observations appear to be in agreement with the customary image of a
relatively small 'hard-core' group surrounded by a much greater group of "hangers
on". However, the behaviour of the surrounding group is very important: their passive
or active support and absence of any form of condemnation made the start and/or escalation
of violence easier. Hard core initiators may serve as initiators and organisers, but there
is no formal organisation with "leaders". The behaviour of people in football
crowds seems to be influenced by the same factors that influence the "normal"
everyday behaviour of humans.
Context, cause and function
- An important factor causing hooliganism lies with the desire to earn prestige, both
within one's own group and relative to the rival group. The frequency of violence appears
to be strongly related to the relationship between the two supporter groups: at meetings
between 2 risk-clubs two times as much violence occurs compared to meetings between a risk
club and a non-risk club. Yet meetings between 2 non-risk clubs were also often strikingly
characterised by violence, that is if away supporters were present. It seems that the
chance of violence was highest if there was any uncertainty about the mutual power
- The rivalry between different groups has historically grown and may originate from
rivalries not connected to football at all, such as enmity between regions or cities. Via
confrontations around soccer matches new rivalries may start or new life is breathed into
- Rivalry as a cause of supporter violence is not only made plausible by the greater
amount of violence at meetings between two risk clubs. Other evidence is given by the fact
that violence (particularly violence between supporters, which is the most common form of
violence) starts often without a preceding clear demonstrable cause and the fact that the
different supporter groups clearly take pains to come into close contact with one another,
frequently challenging each other. In addition, the demonstration of violence is
experienced by supporters as "fun" and "exciting".
- The fact that especially goal points which brought one of the teams into the lead were
followed by violence, and that this violence may come just as easily from the fans of the
team that scored as from the other fans, is in further support of the rivalry idea.
- Only a small proportion of the large number of provocations is followed by violence. The
provocations (consisting of abuse and threats) seem to serve more as a demonstration of
- The enforcement of police measures is also sometimes followed by violence, but almost
exclusively by violence between the supporters involved and the police (and for a small
part to violence directed at objects).
- The way in which hooliganism has manifested itself has changed gradually in the course
of time. The most conspicuous development was the dissociation of hooliganism from
football matches. The first eruptions of hooliganism occurred in close connection with
incidents on the playing field. Violent confrontations between rival fan-groups on the
terraces formed the second stage. Partly as a result of safety measures, fans began to
occupy more or less fixed spots on the terraces, which they started to see as their
"territories". In the next stage, to evade safety measures, they started
occupying places outside their "territories". They also started visiting matches
in which their team did not take part, just to have a chance to confront rival fan-groups.
Eventually, confrontations occurred without any connection to a football match whatsoever.
- These developments were to a large extent set in motion by safety measures taken to
separate and monitor rival fan-groups (e.g. by the use of CCTV). There are increasing
indications that (the threat of) new, possibly effective measures such as video cameras
and ID passes, can cause undesirable developments. New police action merely leads to new
tactics by hooligans.
- More organised and co-ordinated behaviour of fans forms another important development of
hooliganism. In the beginning hardly any internal co-ordination occurred: fans that were
interested in fights etc. went to matches and could know they would meet equally minded
persons with whom to provoke rival fans attending the match. Confrontations followed
predictable patterns and simple rules. Gradually arrangements were made between hooligans
following a team. Increasing safety measures called for preparatory initiatives:
reconnaissance trips were carried out, tickets were bought beforehand if necessary,
tactics were discussed, joint travel arrangements were planned etc.
- In the early years alcohol probably played a large part in the eruption of incidents.
Currently, alcohol does not seem to be an important factor. This is partly due to
enforcement of alcohol bans during and around matches. However, the fact that it is not
very wise to be under the influence of alcohol when deliberately confronting rival groups
seems to be taken into consideration by the fans as well. The use of drugs is on the
increase, especially drugs that reduce feelings of fear and seem to give more energy.
- The largest part of all hooligans still is between 15 and 25 years of age. As hooligans
grow older and become more involved with careers and families, they tend to withdraw from
the hooligan-scene. The proportion of "older" hooligans seems to be on the
increase, however. There are even signals that some older hooligans have returned after a
few years absence.
C. Tackling hooliganism
- Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that the police cannot and should not
deal with hooliganism on its own and that an integrated approach is called for, involving
- In practice, measures tend to focus on the way in which hooliganism manifests itself, in
part because the rivalry between supporters is a factor that is hard to influence. Changes
in the infrastructure of stadia (fences, cameras, all-seater stadia) make surveillance and
separation of fans easier, as do ticketing arrangements. However, a one-sided focus on
security measures may be detrimental to an atmosphere of friendliness.
- Well-trained stewards may contribute significantly to hospitality and an early
signalling of potential trouble inside stadia. The behaviour of players, coaches and
club-officials also influences fan behaviour. Fan societies also play a role.
- Security forces deal with public order and the arrest of offenders. Public prosecutors
and judges deal with apprehended offenders. Train and bus companies are involved in the
transport of fans. Local authorities have their own priorities.
- To prevent excesses in hooliganism, all these parties have to develop policies and
co-operate with one another. If the different policies are not made explicit, if they are
not integrated with one another and if arrangements are not binding, they will not work as
Presence of away supporters and separation of fans
- As indicated, the rivalry between home and away fans is crucial to the existence of
hooliganism. There is a clear connection between the number of away-supporters that visit
a soccer match and the chance that violence occurs. The chance of violence is lower when
there are less away-supporters present. Measures that have had a direct or indirect
influence on the number of away-supporters attending a match include matches being played
with no public present, the non-admittance or admittance only under fixed conditions for
away-supporters, the direct transmission of the match on TV or only offering advance sale
tickets (hence making it harder for supporters to obtain a ticket). Evening matches or
non-weekend matches generally attract fewer away-supporters.
- From this it does not follow automatically that the exclusion of away-supporters is the
most effective means to reduce hooliganism. Enforcement of such a measure is at odds with
a valued tradition and presents a number of potential problems related to practical
enforcement. In addition, fans will probably oppose such a measure, which could lead to
violence as well. Also, it is likely that hooliganism would be displaced to other times
- Fan violence may occur without the presence of a rival group as well. Violence by
home-supporters may be directed at:
- other home-supporters: when a rival group was absent disagreement between different
subgroups might lead to violence;
- players from an away playing club and/or the referee and linesmen if the home club
- players/management etc. of their own club when the team performs badly;
- order services etc. by those without tickets to the match;
- all types of targets while celebrating a victory or championship (e.g. the incidents in
Rotterdam in April 1999)
- If away supporters are present the policy is usually aimed at keeping the two supporter
groups separated from each other. In practice however, this policy is not carried out
consistently. The separation of away- and home-supporters has a disadvantageous side
effect: the phenomenon "side" and all that is associated with it becomes. So at
the same time, separation helps to keep hooliganism alive as a problem.
- Whether or not supporters were separated from each other is also dependent on the effort
home-supporters take to seek confrontation with away-supporters. There are many measures
that may hinder attempts of fans to seek confrontations without antagonising them, e.g.:
- choice of an arrival and departure station that is away from the place where the match
is to be played;
- where necessary variation in the to and from transport routes so that it is impossible
or at least difficult for home supporters to know or approach them;
- choosing transport routes in such a way that they do not coincide for home and away
- ensuring there is a fast flow of away-supporters through the entrance gates with as
little delay as possible;
- if this fast flow is not possible after the finish of the match then away-supporters
must wait until home-supporters have disappeared;
- leaving stands between home and away fans unoccupied.
- In addition to a separation between home fans and away fans, it is important to separate
potentially violent fans from other fans. As the initiatives for violent incidents are
usually taken by just a few individuals, it is important to get to know the fans
individually. This creates more possibilities to influence them or to exclude unwanted
fans from attending matches. In the last few years, stadia bans have been used
increasingly. In combination with an obligation to report to a certain place (e.g. a
police station) bans may contribute to a prevention of incidents. In this respect, it is
regrettable that violent fans, who are banned from attending matches of their team in
their own country, may still visit matches of their team (or of the national team) in
- Once fans are known, it becomes possible to influence them on other occasions than
match-days. Both fan societies and fan coaches are important in this respect. In several
countries "fan projects" have been initiated in the past (e.g. Belgium, the
Netherlands, Germany). Fan coaches make contact with fans, communicate with them, and try
to give positive influences by organising events, giving support and advice, enhancing
responsibility, etc. In addition, fan coaches provide a link between fans and clubs,
media, schools, local authorities, etc. Fan coaches and fan societies provide one of the
few ways which do not restrict themselves to manifestations of hooliganism on match days.
D. International matches and tournaments
- In relationship with the hooligan problem, it is important to distinguish between club
matches in national and international competitions and matches of national teams. Fans of
national teams often behave differently from fans supporting a club. Because of this, lack
of separation of fans supporting national teams is not automatically followed by
incidents. Matches lasting a day pose problems that are different from those encountered
- In most countries, matches of the national team are only rarely accompanied by
confrontations between hooligans. In most cases, rival relationships between away- and
home-supporters are less pronounced and there seems to be some sort of "truce"
between fans of one nationality. If there is any fighting, it is directed at foreign fans,
the common enemy. At matches abroad, some fans feel they are defending the national
reputation for manliness and bravery.
- The understanding originating from international venues sometimes led to co-operation
between some fan groups against common rivals on other occasions. Also, contacts were
established with foreign fans who were willing to assist in the struggle against common
- The policing of international matches is complicated by many factors, such as the fact
that host police are unfamiliar with visiting fans and vice versa. Language differences
and the deployment of less experienced officers may further complicate matters. Delays in
handling of information are often increased. Potential troublemakers may feel less
inhibited, less responsible and more anonymous. Reselling of tickets makes separation of
- In the last fifteen years, violent incidents have taken place at each of the several
championships which have taken place in Europe. Surprisingly enough, evaluation reports of
these events are not readily available. The existing ones, often lack objectivity and
structure. Incidents are characteristically downplayed. Nevertheless, it is possible to
learn important lessons from previous events. For that, it is necessary not just to
analyse incidents, but also to take a look at incidents that did not happen.
- At the European Championships in Germany of 1988 especially German fans acted
aggressively, against English fans, against the police and against squatters. German fans
were characterised by increased co-operation and self-confidence. After Euro 1988 police
sources pointed to the importance of adequate information on fan behaviour, of
communicating with fans and of the role police spotters may play.
- The World Championship held in Italy in 1990 was characterised on the one hand by
relative little attention for international co-operation and on the other hand, by heavy
policing. Alcohol bans and judicial measures completed the picture. There was hardly any
communication between police and fans, except through foreign police spotters. The quality
of the stadia was excellent and contributed to a good atmosphere inside. Different venues
were far apart and most incidents occurred away from the stadia when Italian fans provoked
foreign (especially English) fans.The role of the media as an escalating factor was
- At the European Championship in 1992 in Sweden, a country with a limited hooligan
problem, Swedish, English and German hooligans were involved in several incidents. Large
numbers of police contained the incidents. Media involvement was important in two ways: in
"setting the scene" by sensationalist coverage and because journalists became
the target of attacks by English hooligans. The use of police spotters proved again
useful, although not all foreign police forces considered international co-operation to be
optimal. Spotters provided local police with tactical information on the behaviour of fans
and hooligans, acted as intermediary to "their" fans and provided local police
with information about individuals. It was often unclear what kind of information was
expected and what was done with information provided. The sale of tickets proved to be an
important source of information.
- In 1994, the World Cup was held in the USA. The increasing commercial influences were
felt. The positive effects of active communication of police with fans, and of stewards
and fan-coaches with fans contributed to a World Cup without major incidents.
- The European Championships of 1996 took place in England. For the first time 16
countries participated. English fans rioted all over the country after the loss of the
English team against Germany. No other major incidents occurred, in spite of the fact that
separation of fans was not complete. The explosion of an IRA-bomb in Manchester revealed
the vulnerability of a large event to acts of terrorism. The English police concluded that
Euro 96 was characterised by an unprecedented level of multi-agency planning and
co-operation, both on a national and international level. A centralised co-ordination
centre with police liaison officers from other countries had been established. The quality
and accuracy of information of the intelligence and supporter travel information varied, a
number of competing countries did not possess the necessary infrastructure. Again police
spotters proved to be very useful in the intelligence-led operation. An effective national
press and media strategy was considered of vital importance.
- The existence of the Football Licensing Authority contributed to safe stadia. As a
result of the tragedy at Hillsborough, there were no fences in the stadia but this did not
present problems. Some countries had their own stewards and fan coaches present, which
contributed to the prevention of incidents.
- At Euro 1996, international co-operation had become commonplace. This did not only
include co-operation with participating countries, but also with transit countries.
- The 1998 World Cup was held in France and lasted over a month. Again, by far the large
majority of matches in the 10 venue sites went without incidents. However, a few serious
incidents occurred involving German and English fans and local youths. For English fans,
but not for fans from other countries, there was a relation between excessive drinking and
involvement in incidents.
- The Security report published after the event points to the fact that maintaining the
peace during an event of this type cannot do with preparation well beyond territorial
limits and preparation within the joint Schengen space. Co-operation of the international
police forces should be continued and developed for improved knowledge of risks and
adaptation of methods, and to acquire familiarity with crowds from different cultural
backgrounds. The report considers it essential to evaluate potential disturbances of
public order. Co-operation of foreign police forces is indispensable in this area.
- As was the case with previous championships, international information exchange was of
varying quantity and quality. It proved difficult to co-ordinate the operational action of
delegations with varying cultures, languages, police organisations, familiarity with the
hooligan phenomenon, political systems and therefore with different approaches to public
order. Clear differences in the way liaison officers work in different countries were
revealed. Spotters dissuaded some supporters from exceeding limits and allowed the
identification of more violent supporters who disturbed public order. British Transport
Police travelled with fans on trains to France.
- The Security report recommends the establishment of a think tank in each country to
define and put into effect the best-adapted prevention measures. The procedure used to
sell tickets made it almost impossible to separate supporters of opposing teams. The
ticket selling system was fully inadequate and led to security risks.
- Championships tend to get bigger and bigger: more participating countries, more matches,
and longer duration. Commercial influences are increasingly important. Two parties deserve
special attention during international championships: home fans in each of the
participating countries and the local population in the countries in which the
championships take place. In each of the championships held in Europe in the last fifteen
years, local youths (not necessarily hooligans) provoked incidents in the organising
country. Also, in some of the participating countries, incidents occurred involving youths
staying at home.
- Intelligence clearly is a major factor in dealing with international events. There is a
clear trend towards increased co-operation and co-ordination, both before and during
matches and championships, between countries and police forces involved. However, it is
still far from optimal: many countries are not able to provide the necessary information
and countries with a lot of experience in dealing with hooligans often feel that their
experience is not used to the full.
- Time and again, communication or the lack of it, seems to be a key factor in the
prevention or escalation of incidents. This does not apply only to communication within
and between those involved in security. Especially in the period leading up to
championships, sensationalist or exaggerated press reports, sometimes enhancing
nationalist tendencies, contribute to a climate conducive to hooliganism. Communication
with fans by police officers, stewards and fan coaches contributes to prevention of
incidents, especially if people familiar to them address fans in their own language.
- When intelligence, co-operation, co-ordination and communication are not exploited to
the full, less adequate repressive measures tend to take precedence. The possibilities to
manage a temporary event such as a championship safely are constrained by the long term
policies (or lack of them) the participating countries apply with regard to the problem of
football hooliganism. In addition, the security management of international championships
and matches could benefit from more systematic and structural, objective evaluations.
E. European perspective
The European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at
Sports Events and in particular at Football Matches
- The European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in
particular at Football Matches (hereafter referred to as the European Convention) was
adopted by the member States of the Council of Europe in 1985 and is considered as the
appropriate framework for co-operation in the field. It is signed by 34 States and is
effective in 29 States (as of March, 1999). The European Convention was adopted in the
wake of the tragedy in Brussels, May 1985, when 38 people died in the Heysel stadia
following spectator violence.
- According to Article 1 of the European Convention, the Parties, with a view to
preventing and controlling violence and misbehaviour by spectators at football matches and
other sports event in which violence or misbehaviour by spectators is to be feared,
undertake to take the necessary steps to give effect to a number of provisions. For the
purposes of the Convention, a Standing Committee is established (article 8), which meets
once or twice a year. Over the years, the Standing Committee has taken several initiatives
and made a number of recommendations to refine or implement the provisions of the European
- Article 2 of the European Convention states that Parties shall co-ordinate their
policies and actions, where appropriate through setting up co-ordinating bodies.
- Article 3 lists a number of measures, including employment of adequate public order
resources (3.1.a), facilitation of close co-operation and exchange of appropriate
information between police forces (3.1.b), application and adoption of legislation to
punish offenders (3.1.c) and encouragement of responsible supporters' clubs and stewards
from within their membership to help manage and inform spectators and to accompany
- Concerning stewarding, in 1999, a Standing Committee Working Party made a Draft
Recommendation (No. 1/99) laying down principles on which to base a system of stewarding
at sporting events with large attendances. It stipulates that stewards do not originate
form supporters clubs', but have to be provided by whoever is responsible for the safety
of spectators at the match. The Recommendation explicitly states functions of stewards, as
well as minimum standards of recruitment, selection, training and assessment. Qualified
stewards from the visiting club or country should be permitted to accompany the visiting
- Other measures mentioned in Article 3 of the European Convention include the
co-ordination of travel arrangements so as to inhibit potential trouble makers from
leaving to attend matches (3.3) and practical measures at and within stadia to prevent or
control violence and misbehaviour, including: a suitable design (3.4.a), separation of
rival supporters (b), controlled sale of tickets (c), exclusion of known or potential
troublemakers (d), an effective public address system (e), the restriction or ban of
alcohol at stadia (f), the provision of controls to prevent spectators from bringing
dangerous objects into stadia (g), and the availability of liaison officers to co-operate
with authorities on crowd control (h).
- Recommendation 2/87 on crowd searches explicitly stresses the importance of crowd
searches to effect the controls mentioned in article 3.4.g. Recommendation 1/87 on alcohol
sales and consumption recommends the extension of the provisions of article 3.4.f to
include travel arrangements and, where possible, the neighbourhood of stadia before,
during and after matches. Concerned by occasions when the free availability of tickets has
contributed to outbreaks of spectator violence, Recommendation 1/89 provides guidelines
for ticket sales and has a detailed appendix with suggestions to control the sale of
tickets with a view to reducing the possibility of spectator violence. Following incidents
in the United Kingdom (viz. Bradford and Sheffield), Recommendation 1/91 on the promotion
of safety at stadia lays down principles and rules. In 27 points attention is given to
preventive actions and the preparation of efficient responses related to:
- the danger of fire;
- the possibility of structural failures;
- problems inherent in the presence of large crowds.
- In a 1997 statement on fences and barriers the Standing Committee notes that perimeter
fences and obstacles to protect the playing area restrict views and provide a less
welcoming environment. However, the removal of perimeter fences had to depend on:
- the introduction of all seater and numbered seats stadia, equipped with closed-circuit
television and command and control posts;
- adequate management of ticket sales;
- the improvement of crowd control management techniques with a growing role for stewards;
- better police co-operation for the identification of potential trouble makers;
- introduction of appropriate legislation, with effective sanctions for convicted
- In the light of the 1998 World Cup championship the Standing Committee revised its
position and its Recommendation 2/99 it recommended to proceed to the removal of fences in
- In 1998 a discussion was started regarding bans to prevent known hooligans from entering
stadia and the validity of such a ban abroad (article 3.4.d). This discussion was rendered
more difficult by the differences in bans used in different countries. In some countries,
bans are decided by a court. In other countries, bans are imposed by clubs or the national
- Article 4 of the European Convention supplements Article 3.1.b and stresses the
necessity of international co-operation, both between governments and sports authorities,
especially around matches where violence or misbehaviour by spectators is to be feared.
Consultations will have to take place to arrangements, measures and precautions to be
taken before, during and after the match concerned.
- Recommendation 3/87 on police co-operation recommends that Parties nominate
correspondents: central contact point within the police for potential problems of football
hooliganism. This initiative follows the nomination of permanent correspondents nominated
within the European Union.
- Recommendation 1/88 on the use of advisory police spotters recommends that police
authorities discuss the possibilities of arranging for advisory plain-clothes policemen
from visiting countries to assist local police forces on potential problems for the
- In Recommendation 2/91 clarifies the role of visiting police in the host country. It is
recognised that responsibility for police action and the maintenance of public order
remains with the host country at all times. Nevertheless, the availability of relevant
information and intelligence as advice is crucial. Three types of information are
- traffic information on number of spectators, dates, routes, means of travel and
arrangements for accommodation;
- intelligence on known troublemakers, their methods of operation and suspected
- tactical intelligence identifying known troublemakers travelling to the event and actual
intentions to engage in violence and disorder.
- Liaison officers may be useful in observing at first hand the behaviour of supporters
from their own country. Another possible role is in dealing publicly with supporters, e.g.
to appeal for sensible behaviour.
- Recommendation 2/88 on preparation for major events recommends that relevant police
authorities consider organising before major international competitions training seminars
for senior police officers on the organisation of crowd control measures. In
Recommendation 2/91 it is recommended that before a major international football
championship, the host country should consider organising a conference for all
participating police forces to familiarise all participants with each other's plans and
intentions, to establish contact with opposite numbers and to identify difficulties.
- Recommendation 2/91 on international police co-operation for international football
matches and tournaments is based on experiences from Euro 88 and the World Cup held in
Italy in 1990) and contains detailed guidelines to implement Article 4 of the European
Convention. The guidelines suggest a framework based on proven good practice.
- Recommendation 1/97 on the use of standard forms for the exchange of police intelligence
concerning high risk sport events follows an initiative by the European Union
(Recommendation of 22 April 1996 on guidelines for preventing and restraining disorder
connected with football matches) in order to prevent adoption of two different texts.
Standard forms are provided for the exchange of police intelligence
concerning travelling supporters (mode and time of travel, travel route, number and type
of supporters, accommodation).
- Article 5 of the European Convention sees to the identification and treatment of
offenders. Spectators committing acts of violence or other criminal acts have to be
prosecuted. if appropriate, Parties will consider extraditing suspects, transferring
proceedings to the country of residence, or having convicted persons serve their sentences
in their own country.
- Recommendation 1/90 on identification and treatment of offenders draws attention to the
provisions of Article 5 of the European Convention and urges Parties to ratify relevant
European Conventions. It points to the use of video-recorders and closed circuit
television in identifying suspect. It is also recommended that in the case of successful
prosecution of offenders, measures are taken which have the effect of preventing
individual offenders from attending sports events or particular sports events for a given
time, or forbidding access to grounds where such events take place.
- Article 6 of the European Convention lists additional measures to be taken, viz.:
- close co-operation with sports organisation, clubs and stadia owners regarding
alterations to stadia;
- promotion of a system laying down requirements for the selection of stadia used for
matches likely to attract large or unruly crowds;
- encouraging national sports organisations to review regulations their regulations
continuously in order to control factors that may lead to outbreaks of violence.
- In addition to the specific Recommendations mentioned earlier, two recommendations deal
with general measures.
- Recommendation 2/89 is a comprehensive report on measures to counter hooliganism. It
includes lessons learnt from Euro 88 in Germany. Co-operation and co-operation are
considered vital for success.
- Recommendation 1/93 on measures to be taken by the organisers of football matches and
public authorities provides a standard checklist of measures to be taken. The checklist is
meant to serve as the basis for an agreement between the organisers of a football match
and the public authorities of the country where the football match is to be organised
about obligations and responsibilities of the organisers of football matches on a European
level (particularly within the framework of UEFA and FIFA competitions).
- All measures mentioned above deal directly with the organisation of sport events. In
addition to these measures, the European Convention calls for the parties to take
appropriate social and educational measures to prevent violence in and associated with
sport (Article 3.5), in particular by:
- promoting the sport ideal;
- giving support to the notion of fair play;
- encouraging increased participation in sport.
- Every year, Parties submit national reports on incidents, new legislative and
administrative measures, new regulatory measures adopted by sports organisations and new
co-ordination measures, new preventive and social measures, international co-operation.
- Over the years, the Standing Committee has organised several meetings and seminars (e.g.
1997 Sprint seminar in Rome on "Sport and Law", 1998 Sprint seminar in Berlin on
"Combating Hooliganism"). The participants to the Berlin seminar agreed that it
is important that fans be consulted and involved in decisions that concern them. Relations
with supporters should be based on a long-term strategy and on lasting personal contacts.
The participants also stressed the importance of educational, social and cultural measures
and strategies in preventing violence.
Initiatives of the European Union
- Over the years, the European parliament has adopted several resolutions related to
hooliganism, calling for a balance between repression and fundamental societal values. The
European parliament on several occasions recommended co-operation for the struggle against
violence and necessary measures for the struggle against vandalism, xenophobia and
violence in sport.
- Several initiatives for joint policy and approach in the area of combating football
hooliganism within the Union have been taken by the working group on police co-operation.
The Council of Ministers has adopted a number of recommendations:
- recommendation of 30/11/93 about the responsibilities of organisers of sports events;
- recommendation of 1/12/94 about direct exchange of information related to international
- recommendation of 22/4/96 on guidelines to prevent and control incidents at football
matches (with standard format to facilitate exchange of police information);
- resolution of 9/6/1997 on prevention and control of football hooliganism by exchanging
experiences, by stadia bans and by media policy
- The most recent initiative is a "Handbook for international police co-operation and
measures to prevent and control violence and disorder around football matches"
(Enfopol 37, 8358/99). The following subjects are covered in the handbook:
- preparation by police
- organisation of police co-operation
- information by police
- co-operation between police and stewards
- checklist media policy en communication strategy
- Over the years a number of initiatives have been taken (based in large part on the
European Convention) that greatly contributed to improved international co-ordination,
co-operation and exchange of information. In spite of that, large differences exist
between different countries as to the actual implementation of arrangements. E.g. only
three countries have a national "football intelligence" centre on a permanent
basis. The Handbook developed by the European Union might prove useful to countries of the
Council of Europe as well.
- The initiatives taken were almost exclusively concerned with the safe management of
matches and tournaments. Repressive and secondarily preventive measures were aimed at the
way in which the hooligan problem manifested itself and were heavily influenced by
striking incidents, such as the Heysel-tragedy. The European Convention was written in
response to the hooliganism of the eighties. Without changes, it is doubtful whether it
will be able to deal with the developments in hooliganism noted in this report.
- Although it is recognised that the roots of hooliganism lie outside the field of sport,
in a European context few initiatives were taken to influence the behaviour of fans in
between matches. Educational, social and cultural measures and strategies to prevent
violence deserve more attention.
F. Euro 2000
- For the first time in history, two countries will jointly organise a football
championship. For several reasons, Euro 2000 is not a smaller version of a World
Championship (e.g. the World Cup held in France, 1998). The territories of the organising
countries are relatively small. As a consequence, at any time visitors can easily travel
between cities where matches are played or to other towns. All countries taking part in
Euro 2000 are relatively close to the host countries. Borders are open and excellent
connections by air, rail, water and road exist. Both Belgium and the Netherlands are
densely populated and many special events will be held during Euro 2000. In addition, many
tourists visit these countries in June. On top of that: both Belgium and the Netherlands
have a long tradition of football hooliganism.
- The Netherlands and Belgium opt for a pro-active, preventive approach to ensure the
festive, safe nature of the event. To prepare for Euro 2000, a government framework of
basic policy assumptions and tolerance limits has been drawn up. It states that visitors
will be treated as guests and will be expected to act as guests. Misconduct will be dealt
with immediately. Offenders will be prosecuted under criminal law. The police will have to
contribute to the festive nature of the event. Police deployment will be aimed at keeping
the peace, employing a mixture of preventive, pro-active and restraining methods. For this
purpose, a profile of police conduct has been formulated. Before and during Euro 2000
maximum co-operation at operational levels is sought. A treaty is made to achieve maximum
co-operation with respect to supportive, general and technical services (exchange of
intelligence, supervision of fans, use of materials, traffic control, etc.). Arrangements
are made to make cross-border policing possible in specified circumstances.
- Together, both governments have set requirements for ticket sales and minimum conditions
for deployment of stewards. The basic security assumptions surrounding Euro 2000 are that
the organisers will bear primary responsibility inside, and the police outside the stadia.
- Effective communication is considered to make a significant contribution. This applies
to public announcements with respect to tolerance limits, ticket policy as well as to
police conduct and to mutual communication among the various organisations and individuals
involved. An information folder explaining tolerance limits will be sent to those who buy
tickets. Authorities in various participating countries will be asked to make
announcements about tolerance limits. A binational information platform and a binational
police information centre will be set up for the provision of administrative and
operational intelligence. In the spring of 2000, a meeting of participating countries will
be convened during which agreements will be made about the use of spotters, liaisons and
related provision of information. Researchers from Belgium gathered information on the
behaviour of fans attending international matches.
- As experiences from other tournaments indicated the complex but vital impact of
ticketing, ticket sales will be regulated to bring about controlled sales. The aim is to
bring about maximum fan separation and to eliminate the "anonymity" of
spectators wherever possible. Both governments have reached a final agreement with UEFA/
Euro 2000 council about ticketing:
- tickets carry the words "not transferable";
- sales of tickets behind the goals may not exceed 95%. Only if measures taken by the
organisers are deemed sufficient by local authorities, will the remaining 5% be sold;
- sale of tickets to participating associations (16% of the total) will take place in
three blocks. Before the next block becomes available, the association must supply a list
of names identifying for whom the tickets are intended;
- UEFA and non-participating associations receive a maximum of 5% of tickets;
- cross-checks will be made to prevent people from receiving several tickets in the same
- per applicant only two tickets are available;
- the use of tour operators is restricted;
- sanctions will be taken by UEFA on member associations that do not uphold agreements.
- In Belgium, but not in the Netherlands, administrative detention competencies exist. In
the Netherlands, a bill is being prepared to be able to impose legal restrictions on the
freedom of movement when necessary. The Schengen treaty (section 2, subsection 2) allows
for the temporary reinstatement of border controls. In specific circumstances this
possibility might be used.
- A binational police co-operation project has been set up In the course of the project,
innovative ideas are being developed which are in line with a pro-active, preventive
approach. This includes employing every means possible to avoid an image of
"beleaguerment" (e.g. by using a zeppelin rather than helicopters to observe
crowds) and the build-up of stress in the security forces.
- Other countries may also play a significant role in evaluation and communication. The
development of a complementary media and communication strategy in participating countries
may help to inform potential visitors and fans adequately before the event. Police
spotters, stewards and fan coaches also contribute to an effective communication with
fans, thereby avoiding misunderstandings and solving potential problems. In this respect,
setting up temporary points of contact ("embassies" or an international
supporters home) for foreign visitors could prove helpful.
- Football hooliganism is detrimental to the sport. Partly as a result of safety measures
taken in the past, the manifestations of hooliganism have changed. To avoid excesses in
hooliganism in future, repressive measures will have to be complemented by a
- From what we know, several elements are critical to avoid excesses in hooliganism:
- sound (international) co-operation and co-ordination;
- active involvement of clubs and national and international football authorities;
- an integrated approach with binding arrangements for all parties involved;
- investing in information about fans and hooligans;
- where possible, excluding hooligans from attending matches (and influencing other fans);
- communicating with fans/ hooligans by police, clubs/ stewards and fan coaches;
- a long-term commitment, not just focusing on incidents and short-term measures.
Reporting committee: Committee on Culture and Education
Budgetary implications for the Assembly: None.
Reference to the committee: Doc. 8279 and Reference No 2350 of
Draft recommendation unanimously adopted by the committee on 2
Members of the committee: MM. Nothomb (Chairman), Zingeris,
Roseta, de Puig (Vice-Chairmen), , Arzilli, Bartumeu Cassany, Bauer, Baumel,
Billing, Chiliman, Cubreacov, Diaz de Mera (Atl.: Varela), Dumitrescu (Alt.: Baciu),
Mrs Fehr, Mr Glotov, Mrs Gogoberidze, Mrs Granlund, MM. Hadjidemetriou, Hegyi,
Hornhues (Alt.: Zierer), Irmer, Mrs Isohookana-Asunmaa, MM. Ivanov,
Jakic, Kalkan, Mrs Katseli, MM. Kiely, Kofod-Svendsen, Kollwelter,
Lachat, Mrs Laternser, MM. Legendre (Alt.: Mignon), Lemoine, Libicki,
Mrs Lucyga, MM. Van der Maelen (Alt.: Staes), McNamara, Mezeckis, Mrs
Moserova, Mrs Nemcova, MM. OHara, Pereira Marques, Pinggera, Polydoras,
Mrs Poptodorova, MM. Pullicino Orlando, Radic, Ragno, Risari, Rockenbauer, Mrs
Saele, Mr Saglam, Mrs Schicker, MM.
Shaklein,), Mrs Stefani, MM. Sudarenkov, Svec, Symonenko, Tallo, Urbanczyk,
Valk, Verbeek, Wilshire, Xhaferi, N
NB: The names of those who took part in the vote are in italics
Secretaries to the committee: Mr Ary, Mrs Theophilova-Permaul, Ms
Record of Proceedings of the Hearing on Football Hooliganism
Paris, 10 May 1999
(organised by the Sub-Committee on Youth and Sport of the Committee on Culture and
Mr Jakic, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Youth and Sport
(Committee on Culture and Education), opened the Hearing and welcomed participants. The
hearing had been convened to help the Rapporteur, Mr Valk, in the preparation of his
report. Based on the experience of the World Cup in France last year and on preparations
for the Euro 2000, to take place in Belgium and the Netherlands, participants should try
to identify the existing problems and possible solutions. Conclusions would be drawn in Mr
Mr Valk recalled that two weeks earlier Feyenoord had won the Dutch
football championship in Amsterdam. After one or two hours celebrations things went astray
and in the end the police had shot some fans. Some politicians advocated more repression
and heavier sentences to counter hooliganism but this would not be enough. Prevention was
In the Netherlands there were two major concerns about the Euro
2000: will the Netherlands win? and will there be violence and hooliganism? Whereas for
the first concern the Council of Europe was not competent, for the second it should help
in the identification of measures that could help preventing hooliganism, namely in the
fields of fan coaching, ticket selling and giving a greater role for supporter's
Mr Jakic recalled the Written Declaration signed by Assembly
Members, which stated that violence in sport was the action of a very small minority.
Mr Rop agreed that experience of the World Cup in France in 1998
was useful to prepare for Euro 2000. Three different circumstances, however called for
concern: the area of Belgium and the Netherlands was much smaller than that of France and
therefore mobility would be increased; contrary to France the Netherlands had a long
tradition of football hooliganism; and finally there were now organised groups of
hooligans using mobile phones and the internet. Preventive measures to be taken included
separation of fans in stadia through ticketing, banning alcohol in a wide perimeter around
stadia and stewarding groups of fans to and from the stadia. The Ministries of Interior of
Belgium and the Netherlands had agreed on police co-operation.
Mr Bliki made the distinction between measures to be taken by
the countries of origin of spectators and those to be taken by the organising countries of
Euro 2000. Many spectator groups would come to Belgium and the Netherlands for a period of
3 weeks and it would be impossible for the local police to keep an eye on all of them for
all that time.
Mr Williams stressed the fact that, contrary to what was commonly
believed, hooligans were not a small minority of alienated young people. In England they
were not so young, they come from mainstream and not marginalised backgrounds and they
were not fascist or nazi. Therefore fan coaching and social measures were not appropriate
to deal with this phenomenon. Research had indicated that hooliganism was related to
certain notions of masculinity and national identity. In the Euro 2000 problems could be
expected with supporters coming from the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the
Netherlands. Measures should be addressed in priority to these groups.
Mr Adang recalled that, since the adoption in 1985 of the
Convention on Spectator Violence, many football competitions had taken place in Europe in
which many incidents had occurred. It was interesting to analyse what had happened and
what had not happened. He believed that many more nationalities were involved in
hooliganism than just the four mentioned by the previous speaker.
Exchange of accurate and updated information was essential. Fan
coaching from an early stage could play an important role in influencing supporters. The
Council of Europe Convention of 1985 was very much about repression. It was worth looking
whether it was still appropriate for the hooligans of the year 2000.
Mr Özyavuz pointed out that the Convention also addressed
prevention. It had made an important contribution to reduce violence inside stadia. The
problems had to a large extent moved to inner city areas, often merging with urban
violence where the Convention was a less appropriate tool. The Schengen agreements made it
easier for hooligans to travel.
Mr Jakic referred to the statement by Mr Williams and asked the
experts to try to characterise hooligans.
Mr O'Hara recalled that the infrastructure in the Heysel stadium
was appalling and responsible for the dramatic consequences of what had started as a minor
incident. The same had happened in Hillsborough. Measures to be taken should not be based
on misconceptions. He agreed with Mr Williams that hooligans were not marginal but
mainstream behaving in an uncharacteristic way. The British tabloid press was scandalous
in the way it presented football matches as if these were battles.
Mr Brekelmans indicated that hooligans were a minority group, not
particularly interested in football, which wanted just to provoke violence. They were very
difficult to identify and therefore to separate from other potentially problematic groups.
He agreed that the presentation of sport events in some press was in part responsible for
a climate of violence.
Mr Colvin asked whether there had been studies comparing violence
in different sports, for example between soccer and rugby. What was the relationship
between alcohol consumption and spectator violence? Referring to fences and cages in
stadia, he pointed out that if people were treated like animals nobody should be surprised
if they behaved like animals. He also agreed that hooligans were normal persons. In a
commuter train he had himself watched how civilised office workers turned into maniacs by
the combined effect of football results and beer consumption. He felt that bilateral
agreements would not solve all the problems and that some sort of European legislation was
Mr Elo said that in Finland spectator violence was almost
inexistant. He wondered what was the influence of alcohol and drugs and what could be done
to prevent alcohol and drugs being brought into stadia. Why was football the only
"violent" sport? He believed that there was no stereotype for hooligans.
Mr Colvin drew the attention of participants to the positive role
of football in showing how different races could work together for a common objective.
Mr O'Hara replied to Mr Elo that perhaps in the cases of rugby or
ice hockey all the violence was kept in the pitch.
Mr Williams believed that Finland had no problem with spectator
violence due to the way in which its society was organised and to its approach to national
identity or gender equality issues. Football was the sport where more problems of violence
were seen because of its universality but it was in no way the only "violent"
sport. As a solution for football hooliganism he proposed to begin by identifying all the
levels of society and all the groups of spectators involved. As far as the latter were
concerned there were the core group of "troublemakers", a larger group who liked
to be provoked and who would respond to provocation but would not start it and finally an
even larger group who did not want to be involved. Each group should be addressed taking
into account its specificity.
Mr Comeron stressed the importance of preventive measures. He felt
it was essential to steward supporter groups.
Mr Baelemans pointed out that many more families attended rugby
than football games. This accounted for a tighter "social control" of
spectators. Role models were also responsible for more violence in football than in other
sports. Finally he agreed that the lack of ethics in some media added to the phenomenon.
Mr Feral said that there was much more exchange of (relevant)
information in the case of international matches between clubs than for those between
national teams as host towns did not seem to feel concerned in the latter case. Taking the
division of supporters into three groups the middle group, those who would not start the
troubles but would respond to provocations, was the priority target for preventive
measures. Alcohol was considered as an aggravating factor and therefore it was forbidden
to sell or to bring inside stadia. This prohibition should now be extended to the
Mr O'Hara felt that the function of football in society should not
be overlooked as football provided an expression for latent sectarianism.
For Mr Adang there was nothing in particular that related
football, rather than other sports, to violence. Many people did not become aggressive
after drinking alcohol and therefore banning it would not solve the problem. Drugs,
inasmuch as they reduced fear, were much more serious a problem and much more difficult to
Mr Terraube pointed out that major events had to be prepared with
special care. Mayors and municipalities had to be involved. In addition to stadia airports
and railway stations should also be monitored. He disagreed that most hooligans came from
Great Britain, Holland, Germany or Belgium. They could come from anywhere. For example
many Greek supporters of Panathinaikos some times behave as hooligans. However most
supporters were not hooligans and should not be treated as such. Most violent incidents
did not take place in stadia or during matches: they could happen anytime anywhere.
Mr Colvin referred to Dublin as an example of non-sectarianism. The
supporters of Southampton were known for their good behaviour. They were part of a very
strong community and fairly large numbers of women and children attended football matches.
He wondered whether there was a critical mass of spectators above which matches became
confirmed that in general there was no longer
violence in stadia during football matches in Europe. The Council of Europe Convention on
Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in Particular at Football Matches
had made stadia safer by proscribing the sale of alcohol and by fostering international
co-operation. There was however a general problem of violence in society which could not
be addressed by the Convention. Compared to violence in general, that related to football
was over emphasised by the media. The press had a large responsibility for violence. He
believed that those responsible for the violent incidents did not like football. A
long-term solution for football related violence had to be based on education for young
people in general, on the social integration of hooligans and on co-operation with
supporter groups, clubs and the police.
Mr Beorlegui Ibars
agreed that the media had a perverse effect by helping
to create a psychotic mood that was favourable to the outburst of violent incidents.
Mr O'Hara believed that it was not enough to prevent known
hooligans from getting into stadia as in fact they were not interested in football. They
should be prevented from travelling to the locations where "risk" matches were
to take place. The separation of different groups of supporters by rows of stewards
wearing distinctive clothes (for instance yellow jackets) was efficient but perhaps too
Mr Valk wound up the discussion. Many participants had highlighted
the role of the press. Football matches were often described in an almost military way but
this was considered as part of the whole culture of football. It should be made again a
family sport. Clubs should also pay more attention to preventive work with supporters and
to fan coaching. It would be very difficult to influence "hard core hooligans"
and therefore prevention should concentrate on those supporters who were not yet but who
risked becoming hooligans. All participant countries in the Euro 2000 should send stewards
and fan-coaches with their teams. It was not clear how effective the prohibition of stadia
to known hooligans was. Perhaps these should be obliged to present themselves in police
stations at a certain time.
He would now continue to work on his report and hoped to be able to
submit it to the Committee on Culture and Education during the September Assembly session.
thanked all the participants for a very interesting,
albeit short, discussion and closed the Hearing.
List of participants
Parliamentarias, members of the Sub-Committee on Youth and Sport
MM JAKIC Roman (Chairman), Slovenia
ELO Mikko (Vice-Chairman), Finland
COLVIN Michael, United Kingdom
DIAS Laurentino, Portugal
HADJIDEMETRIOU Takis, Cyprus
KIELY Rory, Ireland
Mrs LUCYGA Christine, Germany
MM O'HARA Edward, United Kingdom
SMORAWINSKI Jerzy, Poland
VALK Gerrit (Rapporteur), Netherlands
ZIERER Beno, Germany
MM ADANG Otto M.J., consultant. Somerenseweg 13, NL 5591 JV
BAELEMANS Eddy, Liaison Officer, Ministry of the Interior, Algemene
Rijkspolitie. Leuvenseweg 3, B - 1000 Brussels. Belgium
BEORLEGUI IBARS Juan Ramon, Chairman of the Standing Committee on the
European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events and in
Particular at Football Matches (CDDS). ). Inspector General de Federaciones Deportivas,
Consejo Superior de Deportes c/ Martin Fierro s/n, E 28040 Madrid
BLIKI Herman, Coordinateur de la police Euro 2000, Gendarmerie Belge.
Direction Générale des Opérations. Fritz Toussaintstraat 47, B -1050 Bruxelles. Belgium
BREKELMANS Theo, Assistant Chief Constable. Project manager Euro 2000.
PO Box 2000, NL 3500 GA Utrecht. Netherlands
COMERON Manuel, Chargé de mission "Prévention
hooliganisme", European Forum for Urban Security. Rue de Liancourt, 38, F
75014 Paris. France
FERAL Marc, Direction Générale de la Police Nationale. 4, rue
Cambacérès, F -75008 Paris. France
GROENEVELT Henk, Centraal Informatiepunt Voetbalvandalisme. Postbus
8300, NL 3503 RH Utrecht. Netherlands
ROP Nico, Representative of the Ministry of the Interior. PO Box 10011,
NL 2500 EA The Hague. Netherlands
TERRAUBE Thierry, Commandant de Police, Centre National Etudes et
Formation de la Police National. BP 41, F 91112 Gif s/Yvette France
WILLIAMS John, Director, Sir Norman Chester Centre for Football
Research, University of Leicester. GB Leicester LE7 1RH. United Kingdom
Secretariat of the Council of Europe:
Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport
Mr ÖZYAVUZ, Sports Division
Office of the Clerk
MM GRAYSON, Head of the Division on Culture and Science
ARY, Secretary to the Committee
Mrs NOTHIS, Administrative assistant