MOSCOW, July 23 (R-Sport) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law Tuesday legislation that would ban convicted hooligans from sports events for at least six months and up to seven years.
The so-called Fan Law, which is aimed squarely at keeping the 2018 World Cup in Russia safe from hooligans, will come into effect on January 19, 2014.
Under the new law, if someone serving a stadium ban is found at a sports event, he or she can be fined up to 25,000 rubles ($770) or detained for 15 days. Police and sports federations will be required to keep lists of violators, while stadium owners must install CCTV systems to identify troublemakers.
The Russian sanctions, however, are lower than those in Britain, another country with a history of football hooliganism. British football banning orders range from three to 10 years and include a provision to confiscate hooligans’ passports when their team plays abroad.
The legislation had its first reading in the lower house of parliament back in April.
There were more than 14,000 offenses committed at Russian sporting events over the last three years, according to federal sports ministry data. Firework-throwing and racist chants are commonplace at Russian football matches, while violence occasionally erupts.
On Sunday, police arrested 38 people for lighting flares and ripping up seats at a Russian Premier League match in Nizhny Novgorod between FC Volga and Lokomotiv Moscow.
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