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May 22, 2012

DFL to tackle crowd trouble

The German football league (DFL) is planning to take steps to deal with crowd trouble.

• Hertha replay request rejected

There are concerns that there is a growing problem in the country, with a pitch invasion forcing a 20-minute delay at the end of the recent play-off between Hertha Berlin and Fortuna Dusseldorf, and DFL president Dr Reinhard Rauball is seeking ways to deal with the problem.

He has suggested stronger checks outside the stadium, video surveillance and professional stewards, and also believes it may also calm emotions if players no longer applaud the supporters at the end of games.

"I think that taking this show of affection away from these so-called fans would have an effect," Rauball said. "We have got to do something. The near abandonment of the game in Dusseldorf was something new in the recent history of the Bundesliga.

"There is a new kind of intensity which has emerged in recent weeks."

He added on ARD television: "Fans who are keen on causing trouble have got to get used to us strengthening our rules for stadium bans. We have got to make the stewarding more professional.

"Before next season starts, we will bring together all of the presidents of teams in the first, second and third divisions and draw up a catalogue of measures."

Hertha Berlin - relegated after the play-off defeat to Dusseldorf - had sought to have the second leg replayed as a result of the crowd trouble, but the club's request was rejected on Monday.

Hertha, though, are refusing to give up their fight.

"This is not a judgement that we can accept," Hertha's solicitor Christoph Schickhardt said on the club's website. "It is not acceptable for all those interested in sport.

"Everybody saw that it was an irregular game. It was not a football game in the end. The judge spoke of it being a positive pitch invasion. That is quite a funny term for what we all saw."

He added: "For Hertha BSC, it is fully inconceivable that the result of a game can only be overturned when a player is actually physically injured."

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