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For the last couple of years one of the main preoccupations of the Croatian government have been football supporters.
For the last couple of years one of the main preoccupations of the Croatian government have been football supporters, while at the same time assassins, rapists, pedophiles… have been walking the streets freely, and while corruption is present everywhere.
As a result of the last week government discussions, the new changes in “Supporters law” has been introduced. And to remind you, law for supporters in Croatia is active since 2003, and it has been changed twice already (2006 and 2008), which make them one of the worst law for supporters in whole Europe.
From now on all of the violations committed at the stadiums, arenas and the surrounding areas are going to be treated as a crime, which is a great difference compared to the former regulatory acts. As a direct consequence of that, for the first time there is a only prison sentence for some violations, as well as the higher fines for all other violations. Also, one of the new regulations includes the confiscation of passports for the individuals who have participated in the supporter-riots abroad (which makes Croatia with England only country in Europe with internationals bans). Additional news are the "zero tolerance" on alcohol and the ban of camouflaging face with the cap or a scarf. The regulation regarding the “ban control” also changes. Now supports with bans have to come in local police station 2 hours (before was 30min) before the match to report where will they be for next 6 hours. In that period of time police randomly come to that location to check them. If you get ban for second time then you have all that time spend in police station! Old measures like no pyro, no insulting songs/banners still remain.
Prison sentence mentioned above is going to be enforced for the following offenses: taking part in the fights before, during and after the match (public disorder), organized riots at the sporting events, demolishing and destroying of the property and goods, disregards ban measures.
On the other hand, the regulations in the means of the organizational issues (security guards and safety infrastructure at the stadiums in the first place) are more rigid as well. But experience from the past show that only part of law which referees to supporter is implemented... Stadiums and match organizations in Croatia are terrible (same as football hehe).
Most supporters in Croatia find that the new Act is discriminating in more ways than one, as one no longer needs to be involved in anything in order to be subject to a banning order.
Thus, the question remains: will the supporters maintain to be presented as the stepping stone of the Croatian society while the country is affected by the far more serious problems - economical crisis, highest unemployment ever, political scandals and affairs.
Croatia is small country, and it would be very hard for Ultras movement to survive with all this anti-ultras measures… Lots of smaller groups in last few years already suffer a lot from this law, what will be after this new measures get accepted time will show.
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