German court upholds stadium ban

German court upholds stadium ban

Published Oct. 30, 2009 2:50 p.m. ET

Germany's supreme court ruled Friday that fans suspected of violence can be banned from stadiums even if there is no evidence of their direct involvement in any acts of aggression.

In a benchmark ruling, the court said being a member of group with a history of violence is enough ground for clubs to exclude such fans from their stadiums.

The ruling rejected an appeal by a Bayern Munich fan with a season ticket who was banned from attending games after his group of fans was involved in an altercation with supporters of MSV Duisburg following a game in March 2006.

Although he was never charged, the fan received a two-year national stadium ban.

The German football federation welcomed the ruling, saying the possibility of a nationwide stadium ban was an "important preventive measure to ensure security at stadiums."

Between 2,900 and 3,000 fans are currently covered by the stadium ban in Germany, according to the football federation.