Sweden proposes law against hooliganism

Sweden proposes law against hooliganism
Sweden plans to combat on hooliganism with a new law allowing police to ban troublemakers from stadiums and making it illegal to storm the pitch, throw objects and light firecrackers, the government said on Thursday.

The justice ministry has prepared legislation which is currently being studied by experts.

The proposal is expected to be presented to parliament for a vote in the coming weeks, and would take effect on April 1, 2009, a spokesman for Justice Minister Beatrice Ask, Martin Valfridsson, told AFP.

“Until now only football clubs were allowed to bar people entry to stadiums, but according to the new proposal the police will also be authorised to do so,” he said.

Police will be able to bar people entry on the spot, he said.

Fans who storm the pitch, throw objects or light firecrackers will face fines or six months in prison, he added.

Violence flares occasionally at Swedish football matches, most recently on October 20 at a derby match between Stockholm clubs Djurgården and Hammarby when fans clashed in the stands, lit a fire and threw objects onto the pitch.

Meanwhile, Stockholm police have separately proposed that all derby matches be played during the daytime, a motion that has been supported by football clubs, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported on Thursday.