Germany: Hooliganism in lower division clubs

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Hooliganism is seeing a new outbreak in the lower division clubs and in the past few weekends, fans have invaded fields and targeted the referees. A number of matches have been called off in the Siegen- Wittgenstein area due to the increasing brutality of fans towards the referees. Last week, Jürgen Böcking, the association president called off all 70 matches on Sunday.
“The violence is constantly increasing in the lower leagues,” complained Böcking, adding that his region is not an isolated case. “I hear this from other areas too. The fact is violence on the pitch and sidelines in getting worse.”
The upper echelons of the Bundesliga in contrast see little hooliganism because of the strong police presence and the state of the art surveillance and security equipment. However in recent times even police officers have gotten hurt in fan reaction.
The problem has become so bad that a crisis meeting was convened between the Bundesliga president and the president of the German Football Association to come up with solutions to control this spiraling problem, including stiffer punishments and fan education.

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