The DFB is currently apparently increasingly concerned with the handling of pyrotechnics incidents. However, the association vehemently denied a report by “Sport Bild” about an alleged “secret plan” to reintroduce ghost games.
The claim made in the report that “the DFB and its legal bodies are preparing the ‘reintroduction of ghost games and partial exclusion of spectators'” is untrue, said the German Football Association in a press release on Tuesday afternoon (November 21st, 2023).
DFB: Solution must be achieved through dialogue
We are currently looking for solutions together with the DFL and the clubs, “to avoid the dangers associated with the uncontrolled use of pyrotechnics”, it continues. Most recently, the Bundesliga game between Augsburg and Hoffenheim was interrupted after a firecracker explosion in the fan block – several people were injured and two suspects were subsequently arrested.
The DFB sports jurisdiction cannot get to grips with the dangers of uncontrolled pyrotechnics in stadiums on its own, DFB Vice President for Legal Affairs Thomas Bergmann is quoted in the statement. A dialogue with “For example, fan representatives, representatives of the DFL and the clubs as well as the police” is the DFB’s plan in this matter.
Further “perpetrator-oriented Sanctioning” takes place Collective punishments
In fact, fan (partial) exclusions and so-called ghost games have recently only been suspended as a maximum, as happened, for example, in April 2022, when a thrown beer cup hit the linesman in the head in the game between Bochum and Mönchengladbach.
In 2018, the DFB Presidium had the guiding principle of the so-called “perpetrator-oriented sanctions” initiated and wanted to avoid collective punishments in the future as much as possible. “Spectator exclusions were, are and will always be the last resort for the control committee and the DFB sports jurisdiction”emphasized the association.