BERLIN: German state sports ministers are demanding that the country’s football federation and league stump up far more money to support the authorities in combating hooliganism writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The past two years have seen a sharp rise in the number of incidents with the smuggling and throwing of fireworks inside stadia a particular matter of concern.

Demands that football officials should stump up more money to match their rhetoric were led by Thuringia’s Heike Taubert at the annual German Sports Ministers Conference at Eisenach. Taubert, formally state Minister of Minister of Social Affairs, Family and Health, was conference president.

She noted that football commands €216m in television revenues and did not think it disproportionate that the DFB and DFL should triple their current joint cash contribution from €3.2m “to at least €10m a year.”

Thuringia, which includes Jena and Erfurt, was in the former East Germany whose fans have been involved in a significant number of hooligan incidents.

Currently municipalities, states and DFB and DFL share between them the €9.5m costs of financing anti-violence and fan education projects.

In another debate the sports ministers agreed that, in view of the current economic climate, it would not be possible to increase public funding of sports facilities. Betting companies should be put under pressure to provide a greater afinancial contribition.

Thomas Bach, the IOC vice-president who is president of the German Olympic Sports Federation, was in agreement. He thought it was not unreasonable for  sport to receive one third of the profits from betting because “without sports, there would be no sports betting.”

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