Czechs want tougher punishment for pitch invaders

Czechs want tougher punishment for pitch invaders

Published May. 26, 2011 4:02 p.m. ET

The Czech football federation called for tougher punishment for fans who invade the pitch on Thursday after two recent incidents in the Czech Cup.

The federation will form a group to work on proposals for a law that would make it a criminal offense punishable by prison terms, it said in a statement.

''It's high time we deal with this phenomenon,'' federation chairman Ivan Hasek said.

The move comes a day after a pitch invasion in Jihlava following Wednesday's cup final between Mlada Boleslav and Olomouc.


''A number of measures were taken but we have to make it clear that organizers have very limited options if they want to prevent rioting,'' federation security manager Martin Synecky said.

On May 5, the kickoff of the cup semifinal between Slavia and Olomouc had to be postponed after more than 1,000 Slavia fans invaded the pitch. The match was abandoned after the first half due to rioting by Slavia's fans, with riot police forced to prevent the fans from gaining entry to the club's offices at the stadium.

Slavia had to play three competitive games behind close doors as punishment for the crowd trouble, was fined 750,000 koruna ($43,730) and also punished by receiving a 3-0 loss for the match.

It was not clear when any new law could be approved by parliament.