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FOOTBALL

Top court upholds hooligan’s jail sentence

Switzerland’s supreme court has upheld a four-year jail sentence against a football hooligan who injured a fellow supporter, now disabled as a result.

Top court upholds hooligan’s jail sentence
Switzerland's Federal Court, Lausanne (Photo: Bundesgericht)

The case dates back to May 13th 2006 when a Zurich football club supporter, now 27, attacked another man who tried to intervene in an altercation.

He punched the victim, a 33-year-old man, in the head, knocking him to the ground.

The incident occurred during festivities to celebrate FC Zurich’s clinching of the Swiss football championship.  

The victim has remained an invalid ever since the attack, the ATS news service reported on Wednesday.

A year after the incident the hooligan attacked another person.

He was initially sentenced by a lower court to a three-year jail term, partially suspended.

On appeal, this sentence was increased to four years unconditional imprisonment by the canton of Zurich’s top court.

After a further appeal, the federal court agreed that the stronger sentence was necessary.

The judges ruled that the bodily injuries caused were the result of an intentional act and that the assailant had taken the risk to cause the victim serious injuries.

The decision emerged as cantonal authorities last week agreed to step up measures to tackle hooliganism at football and ice hockey games.

More than 1,000 people identified as hooligans are currently banned from entering sports stadiums in Switzerland.

Cantonal police and justice directors have agreed to ban alcohol from the stands of stadiums at matches judged to be risky because of the teams involved.

The ban is to take effect next June.

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FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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