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Fans barred from stadiums after Polish Cup riot

05-06-2011 14:05 BJT

 

WARSAW, Poland - Fans will be barred from two upcoming league matches in Poland in a show of determination by the authorities to fight stadium rioting in the Euro 2012 host country.

Hooligans light flares at the stadium after the Polish Cup final soccer match between Legia
Warsaw and Lech Poznan in Bydgoszcz, North Poland, May 3, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Warsaw province governor Jacek Kozlowski announced on Thursday that Legia Warsaw's home game against Korona Kielce on Friday will be played in an empty stadium.

Poznan province governor Piotr Florek has barred fans from Lech Poznan vs Gornik Zabrze on Saturday.

Their decisions come two days after hooligans caused 40,000 zlotys ($13,000) in damage following Legia's win over Lech Poznan in a Polish Cup match at a stadium in Bydgoszcz. No arrests were made.

The rioting has raised questions in the country ahead of Euro 2012, which Poland will co-host with Ukraine.

Hooligans clash with the police at the stadium after the Polish Cup final soccer match
between Legia Warsaw and Lech Poznan in Bydgoszcz, May 3, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

In response, Prime Minister Donald Tusk has called for stricter measures from city and football authorities to prevent such disturbances.

"Measures used so far have proven themselves inefficient," Tusk told a news conference Thursday. "The modern stadiums we are building not meant to witness Medieval-era kind of behavior."

Tusk called on prosecutors to take strong action against those breaking the law and warned of extended bans on stadiums with repeated cases of violence.

Kozlowski said he was aware his decision hurt the true fans, but he could see no other way of enforcing proper behavior.

"This is our joint responsibility," Kozlowski told a news conference. "It is high time that the governor used his power. I have the courage to take such decision."


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