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Rioting football fans blight Hannover's cup win

BERLIN (AFP) –

Police secure the inside of stadium in Hanover as fans of Dresden try to storm the pitch on October 31

Police secure the inside of stadium as fans of Dresden FC try to storm the pitch at the end of the German cup match against Hannover 96 in Hanover, western Germany. Dresden face tough sanctions from the German Football Federation (DFB) after their fans rioted during a Cup loss at Hanover 96, a year on from similar trouble at Dortmund.

Second division side Dynamo Dresden face tough sanctions from the German Football Federation (DFB) after their fans rioted during a Cup loss at Hanover 96 — a year on from similar trouble at Dortmund.

Violence broke out before the game, which Hanover won 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time, as 300 Dynamo fans broke into Hanover’s AWD Arena and clashed with police, which held up the match for 15 minutes.

Dresden fans then stormed the pitch after their team’s defeat, again forcing police intervention. In total, there were nine injuries while 18 fans were taken into custody.

Only the prescence of 1,000 police officers kept large groups of rival fans apart and the DFB announced Thursday they had opened their investigation while the hooligans’ conduct was condemned by Dresden.

In a statement, Dynamo said it was “embarrassed and outraged” by the rioting and said it would be launching its own investigation, but acknowledged the growing need for “discussion about security” at German football grounds.

Violence at matches has caused concern in Germany, after Ruhr rivals Schalke and Dortmund fans clashed on October 20, leading to 180 arrests, and Wednesday’s latest devlopments have been condemned by many Bundesliga clubs.

“We need this like a hole in the head,” fumed Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink.

“I would be glad if the measures taken are drastic.”

But Schalke manager Horst Heldt warned against generalising about football fans.

“What happened yesterday is not acceptable, but you can’t generalise. Of the 10,000 Dresden fans, 9500 were peaceful,” he said.

But the DFB are likely to come down hard on Dresden after their fans again landed the club in hot water after rioting at Dortmund in 2011 prompted the Federation to slap the east German club with a 100,000-euro ($130,000) fine.

In the last 20 years, the DFB’s disciplinary committee has returned 20 verdicts against Dresden with a wide range of sanctions and fines.

“We were able to deal with the situation, but unfortunately a number of Dynamo fans did not follow police instructions and did nothing to improve their bad image,” said Hanover police chief Bernd Kirschning.

With fans chanting hate slogans, burning flares and with bottles flying, one unnamed police officer told German daily Bild: “I have never seen so much aggression at a game. For the first time on duty, I feared for my life”.

“The images are shocking,” Andreas Rettig, the chief executive of the German Football League (DFL), told broadcaster ZDF after seeing pictures of the violence.

“If that is the perception of a police officer, then that is dramatic. Visiting a stadium is supposed to be safe and pleasant for players, referees and fans. This is not a good development.”

The DFL are planning a security concept — Secure Stadium Experience — but several points are proving controversial with the clubs, including proposals for full-body searches and lengthy bans for some fans.

“The paper is not set in stone and will be fully discussed with all stakeholders,” said Rettig with clubs holding a summit in Berlin on Thursday.

He added: “99 percent of fans are not involved, because they are peaceful.

“The Herculean task is to separate the fans so that not everyone is sanctioned.”

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