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Italian anti-football hooligan laws working, say police
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09:53, March 29, 2008

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Italian national police chief on Friday said tough laws aimed at violence in football have produced "extraordinary results".

Antonio Manganelli said the past year saw an 80 percent drop in the number of policemen injury during football games since the government enacted a package of anti-violence laws in February last year following the death of 38-year-old police officer Filippo Raciti at a stadium riot in Sicily.

"The new anti-violence laws have done a great job both in terms of stadium safety and in terms of organization and steward presence," Maganelli said.

Based on the British model of battling hooliganism, it featured stiffer punishment for people convicted of offences, the banning of block ticket sales for away fans and an increase in steward presence (one for every 150-250 fans) at soccer matches.

The Italian government also insisted that stadiums respect a previous 2005 law, which requires them to have electric turnstiles, be equipped with video surveillance, and issue tickets with the buyer's name and seat number in order to make it easier to identify hooligans.

The Italian National Observatory of Sports Events backed up Manganelli's figures on Friday.

According to the observatory, injuries have dropped by 15 percent among the 11 million fans who have attended almost 2,000 matches since the laws were passed, and the number of arrests has fallen by 8 percent.

Of the 3,749 court orders forbidding fans identified as hooligans to enter stadiums, 1,285 had been issued since the beginning of the current football season, the observatory added.

It said the introduction of stewards into the stadiums was "fundamental" in the results.

Source: Xinhua



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