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Turkey cracks down on violence in sports

New laws have been passed in order to deal with hooliganism and violence during sporting events.

The Turkish parliament has approved new legislation in order to combat violence during sporting events on July 4, 2019.

With the new legislation in place, people who encourage violence in sports on media will be banned from watching matches in sports venues for a year.

The previous penalty for the offense was a three month ban from stadiums or sports halls.

Any person possessing a blade or sharp object, item that may cause injury, explosive material, sparklers or inflammable substance in stadiums or training grounds will face a minimum six-month prison sentence that can be extended to two years.

Also included in the amendment was that stadium or club security officials are not to allow intoxicated persons into stadiums or training grounds.

Turkish police or gendarmerie are to take the digital information of offenders following the legal decisions of courts or prosecutor’s offices so security forces can use bio-metric tracking methods.

Any person(s) threatening the security of a match will be handed a jail sentence of at least one year that could be extended to three. Previously, the maximum penalty had been one year.

In addition, racist or sexist expressions or behavior in sports venues will receive at least one year in prison, with the possibility of extending the sentence to three years.

Turkish authorities have long been trying to tackle hooliganism and violence in football.

In April 2014, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) ditched paper tickets in favour of their electronic counterparts, introducing the “Passolig” (League pass) card.

The new technology was introduced with hopes that it would achieve better identification of violent behaviour and its perpetrators in stadiums.

Football fans in Turkey have to apply for a Passolig card to watch games in venues, after which they are required to load their card with funds and purchase tickets in order to attend live games.

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