Eintracht Frankfurt will react to what happened a week ago at the home game against Bayern Munich (1: 6) and take measures to prevent such incidents in the future. Among other things, during the half-time break of the opening game of the Bundesliga season, a so-called “speedster” tried to steal a banner hanging in the curve of the Bayern fans. Frankfurt Ultras, from the grandstand onto the lawn, then freed him from the custody of the stewards.
Philipp Reschke, who has been responsible for fans on the Eintracht board since July, speaks in this context of a “breaking of a taboo”: “Banner theft with an escape across the field, the violent liberation of a speedster from the hands of the security service – we’re talking about here to put it plainly, of criminal offenses. We can’t put up with that either as a club or as the responsible organizer,” Reschke told FAS
“Protect club and event”
Admittedly, “the focus will continue to be, and as long as the feet carry it, the dialogue and the substantive discussion with the organized fan scene”. At the same time, according to the 49-year-old lawyer, Eintracht has a duty to “protect the club and our event. We will have to derive various measures from this – from adapting the security concept to the consistent legal punishment of incidents in the interior,” announced Reschke.
After the game against Bayern, investigations to identify the perpetrators were quickly initiated with the help of video recordings. You are threatened with being banned from the house and stadium, and possibly with claims for damages. Criminal offenses include trespassing and bodily harm. In addition, pyrotechnics were repeatedly ignited during the game in the north-west curve. And a smoke choreography at the beginning of the game had shrouded the pitch in a thick fog for minutes.
Certain ultra-groups of Eintracht have often attracted attention. The list of their sometimes serious misconduct in the past is long. In the 4-0 cup game in Magdeburg at the beginning of the month, flares were fired onto the field from the Eintracht fan block just before the second half started again. Frankfurt were lucky that no Magdeburg player was hit.
The misconduct of certain so-called football supporters at the beginning of this season confirms the impression that those responsible for the club let things slide for too long and should have taken more vigorous action earlier. Instead of relying primarily on dialogue, the Frankfurters should have shown the respective culprits limits.
However, fan politics and fan dialogue do not work “from the top down, but only if you meet eye-to-eye on the issues and are willing to convince the other side of the matter – no matter how controversial the way there is,” says Reschke . This is “not a dreamy sure-fire success, but hard work for everyone involved, and on each side mistakes are made again and again that need to be corrected, or rules are broken and lines crossed that need to be redrawn”.
As a club, according to the board member, you can “only do this if you don’t confuse fan scenes with children or school classes who stand at attention and obey if you just bang the table loud enough or threaten a TV ban. Quite apart from the fact that that doesn’t work in families and school classes, working with completely heterogeneous fan scenes that have grown over decades and have the most diverse individual structures, backgrounds and stories is a little more complex.”
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