Police release shocking hooligan videos
Zürich police have released two previously unseen videos showing violent FC Basel fans attacking riot police in a coordinated offensive outside Zürich-Letzigrund stadium in May.
The wildly aggressive scenes were recorded on May 11th before a match between the FC Zürich and FC Basel football teams in Zürich.
One video shows how FC Basel supporters battered security forces at the stadium.
The hooligans rounded on the police, attacking them with everything they could get their hands on. Rubbish bins, benches, tables, security fences and fire crackers flew through the air, some aimed from balconies.
The rioters were seemingly unperturbed by the severe injuries caused to security guards and supporters who were not involved in the violence, the Tages Anzeiger newspaper reported.
At one point, the video shows a fan getting hit in the head with a heavy object. He immediately falls unconscious.
The frenzied mob resisted tear gas, and could only be brought under control with great difficulty.
A second video shows how a section of the Basel fans were already aggressive and prepared for violence when they got off the train in Zürich. Minutes later, they stormed the stadium in their hundreds.
Several catering stands in the stadium were looted for money, food and drinks. At the entrances, electronic devices were broken, toilets were damaged, sinks ripped off walls, and mirrors smashed.
Marco Cortesi, spokesman for the Zürich police, commented on the violent images on the Swiss television programme “Rundschau“.
“Had we intervened outside [the stadium area], the situation could have escalated and triggered unimaginable street fights,“ he said.
About 10 people were injured in the riots and the cost of the damage was almost 200,000 francs ($250,000), according to Blick newspaper.
Last Monday, Zürich police also published pictures of 16 men involved in the riots. Five hooligans have already been identified and further enquiries are being made. They will be charged with breach of the peace, damage to property and theft.
Combi-tickets, chartered trains and identity controls are among the measures that have been discussed by the government and the Swiss Football Association as ways of preventing football violence in future.
The president of the Swiss Football Association, Peter Guilléron, told Swiss television programme “Rundshau” he was appalled by the images but thinks that the introduction of ID checks for football supporters may be the wrong approach.
“I think when politicians recommend such measures, it does not lead to an improved climate,” he said.
See video: Football hooligans riot in Zürich