Crowd Trouble ⋆ An Old International

Crowd Trouble

It has become some kind of an established pattern to batter East German clubs for their violent support, most notably this season Dynamo Dresden for the events before, during and after their cup match against Borussia Dortmund on October 25 at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. Even worse, it has become a pattern not just to condemn the clubs but also to punish them for a few idiots.

In the case of Dynamo, it could mean that they will be excluded from next season’s German Cup competition. However, it is ignored by the some of the press that many West German clubs do have similar fan groups who are violent and make no secret of that. Each week there are incidents at German grounds but luckily nothing serious has ever happened. And hardly ever is it reported.

Eintracht Frankfurt’s Ultras claimed this year to be “Krawallmeister”, meaning they will be the troublemakers number one in Germany. Did this cause an uproar like the latest crowd trouble in Dortmund? No. The same Frankfurt fans lifted a banner at the away game at Dresden which said, ‘Bombs on Dresden’, picturing scenes from the air raids of the Allied Air Forces in February 1944. This is not just tasteless, this disgusting and should have no place in football at all. No reaction to that as there were no reactions to the anti semitic chants from Dresden fans, who are known for their racist views.

Yet, it was easy for the German FA to condemn the crowd violence by the Dresden fans in October and demand severe punishment for the club. There were 13000 Dresden supporters that day, so the police knew what it would be like. Still, they reported that they have hardly seen anything like that. Out of these 13000 fans, there were about 400 or 500 ‘fans’ that were causing the trouble. That is less than one per cent and yet all of the club and its supporters will possibly feel the force of the law, once the DFB decides what is going to happen. What ist the use of CCTV inside stadia if not for the identification of trouble makers? It is those who should face a life long ban from any ground in Germany and they should take the full responsibility for the damage done.

The clubs should be reminded that it is their task to keep the dialogue with fans positive and on going in order to prevent such scenes. The DFB meanwhile has chosen to stop listening to the fans but instead will act and will punish. But it will be the wrong ones that are being punished, that is for sure. And the DFB will reap the rewards for this policy, i.e. more trouble and more disappointment among football fans who want to enjoy the game.

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