Wednesday, December 8

DFB can continue to prosecute clubs for misconduct by their fans

The German Football Association (DFB) may continue to impose fines on clubs for the behavior of their supporters and spectators.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe decided that the practice would not violate any fundamental principles of the legal system. The penalties are to be assessed as a purely preventive measure, this is also permissible through no fault of the clubs. In the past, clubs from the Southwest had repeatedly been sanctioned for the wrongdoing of their supporters.

The arbitration award is now valid

The regional league team FC Carl Zeiss Jena, who wanted to have the question clarified in principle – and was now defeated in the last instance, had sued. The legal and procedural rules of the DFB stipulate that the clubs are liable for incidents in the stadium area.

The money goes to foundations and projects

This means that you will be asked to pay for Bengalos and other pyrotechnics in the fan block, for example. Depending on the severity of the incident and the financial strength of the association, it can go up to six-figure sums, the money goes to foundations and projects. The idea behind it: The fans should pull themselves together so as not to harm their club. According to an earlier ruling from Karlsruhe, the clubs can get the money back from the rioters as compensation. To do this, however, these must first be found.

Jena, at that time still in the 3rd division, should pay a total of almost 25,000 euros for disruptions to two home games and one away game in 2018. The club felt that was unjust: take all necessary precautions and be punished for something that cannot be influenced. The highest civil judges of the BGH could not be convinced of this. The principle that every punishment or penalty-like sanction presupposes fault has even constitutional status, said the presiding judge Thomas Koch. Contrary to what the name suggests, the fines against the clubs are not, from a purely legal point of view, penalties. Koch explained that the purpose alone is decisive. This is not about punishing misconduct by the clubs. The fines were intended to encourage them to ensure proper gaming operations and to influence their supporters. So the penalties are actually a preventive measure. The club was unsuccessful before the competent arbitration tribunal.

With the decision of the BGH, this arbitration award is now valid. Now only a constitutional complaint to the Federal Constitutional Court is conceivable.

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