Russia eyes banning soccer hooligans from stadiums

Updated: 2012-11-26 19:55:00


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MOSCOW, November 26 (Xinhua) -- Sports hooligans could be banned from entering sports stadiums for the lifetime, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Monday.

"Perhaps, for those who commit crimes directly in a stadium, the ban could be for life," Medvedev told his deputies during a government meeting.

Russian authorities turned to the violence in the stadiums after an incident happened earlier this month in Khimki near Moscow. During a game between Moscow's Dinamo and St.Petersburg's Zenit soccer clubs, the yet unidentified fans threw a firecracker to the Dinamo goalkeeper and injured his eyes.

"Criminal punishment must be in place but the others should not suffer if such a citizen attends a stadium again," Medvedev said, recalling the incident in the Khimki arena.

He urged to tailor the law so the fans charging themselves for misbehavior would be punished "extremely severely".

Medvedev stressed the government must toughen punishments for sports-related crimes because Russia would host several international sports events in the next few years, including World Students Games in 2013, Winter Olympics in 2014 and World Cup in 2018.

The government last Friday proposed to introduce an up to one-year ban for attending the stadiums for the hooligans.

The draft amendments to the Criminal and Administrative Codes were introduced for approval to lower house of the parliament, State Duma. The Duma is to discuss the proposals in January.

Among the proposals, the government offered to record personal data of ticket buyers, to fine violators for up to 160 U.S. dollars, to arrest the first-time offenders on up to 15 days.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, all sports arenas in Russia will be equipped with the close circuit television cameras in the future.