STRASBOURG, 28.10.97 – Recent violence associated with football matches
sets the stage for a Council of Europe seminar, "Sport and the Law",
co-organised with the Italian National Olympic Committee in Rome on 29-31
On October 22 in Strasbourg, three English hooligans received four-month
prison sentences for assault, just before the Strasbourg-Liverpool match.
Stadium violence during the October 11 World Cup qualifier between Italy and
England included prolonged clashes between hooligans and Italian police in the
Seminar participants will hold discussions on harmonising European laws
against violence in sporting events, with a focus on the Council of Europe’s
European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour*.
"Had all the precautionary measures included in the Convention and its
corresponding ‘checklist’ been taken, the violence during the October 11
match might have been avoided," says Council of Europe Sports Division
leader George Walker, who will be speaking at the seminar.
Among its guidelines, the Convention calls for the segregation of groups of
rival supporters (Article 3.4b) and for preventing access to a stadium to any
intoxicated person (Article 3.4d).
Other items on the seminar agenda include the increasing use of civil
courts to settle sports-related disputes, intensifying the work against
doping, and prevention of and legal protection for sports-related injuries.