After riots at the Graz derby: teacher among the suspects

After riots at the Graz derby: teacher among the suspects
The Graz Cup derby has consequences for the police.
Image: GEPA pictures/Hans Oberlaender (GEPA pictures)

The riot by, according to the police, mostly storm “fans” after the CupDerby of the second division team GAK against SK Sturm last Thursday have consequences in the truest sense of the word: the police are evaluating videos, among other things, in order to track down the ringleaders. City politicians are inviting people to a stadium security summit on Tuesday in order to prevent future violent attacks like those on All Souls’ Day before, during and after the match in the Liebenau stadium.

The investigation is, among other things, about a man who is said to have acted as a whip before the Sturm fan march from the “Gruabn” to the Liebenau Merkur Arena. After the attack on the GAK merchandise stand and its looting – the women working there suffered a shock – a number of people took advantage of the stadium’s structural weaknesses to clash with supporters of the opposing side. Dozens of police officers prevented supporters from fighting, and one police officer was injured. “Fans” had previously overcome barriers on the side of the audience, and a Sturm fan fell into the stadium pit and was seriously injured.

Police expect 40 to 50 violent criminals

After the game, the “match” between the “fans” continued: on the way to the city center there were repeated clashes between the “reds” and “blacks”. Up to 200 Sturm supporters marched into the city and repeatedly attacked individual GAK fans, which led to physical injuries and property damage. In addition, during this march, storm “fans” attacked police officers with pepper spray. One officer suffered an eye injury. A total of eight people were injured, including two police officers.

Graz media reported on Monday that two educators could have been among the men who attacked and looted a GAK merchandise stand. When asked by the police, they neither wanted to confirm nor deny this. In the executive branch, it is assumed that there were 40 to 50 people who took the lead in the acts of violence.

  • More on this: Turbulent 3:2: Storm against GAK only barely progresses in the cup

When asked, the state police department said that it had been in contact with the clubs and fan clubs since last year: “The conversations were and are there, including before every game,” said a police spokesman. Suggestions were also made, for example for structural adaptations to the stadium, such as higher barriers and special turnstiles that cannot be easily jumped over.

Events should be “thoroughly reconstructed”.

Manfred Eber (KPÖ), the city councilor responsible for the stadium, expressed concern on Monday about the recent violent attacks. The ultimate goal is to prevent such brutal incidents like those that took place in the stadium in the future. That is why the security summit was initiated. Not only should the events be “thoroughly reconstructed”, but measures should also be developed and implemented. Both the clubs that are responsible for the games as organizers, as well as the security companies and the security authorities, will work together to ensure the safety of the fans and everyone involved, said Eber.

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