In an unprecedented statement, newly elected vice-president of PZPN (Polish FA) suggested that it’s time to change legislation that has been created mostly for Euro 2012. According to the FA it doesn’t rightly address safety issues.
Safety inside Polish stadia is covered by ‘Mass Event Safety Act’, introduced in 2009 and novelized in 2011. It was announced primarily as a measure to ensure safe hosting of Euro 2012, but instead had to be partly ignored during the tournament in order for fans to avoid getting arrested for little or no reason. For Euro 2012 execution of alcohol consumption ban and several others were waived not to spoil the ‘soft approach’ implemented by authorities and police.
League fans weren’t as lucky as Euro 2012 spectators, though. As it turns out in practice at domestic games, the legislation is usually not used against hooligans, but supporters who do not comply with all of the new rules. Over the last two seasons of Ekstraklasa, fans were getting arrested for using a curse word, standing on stairs or even taking an empty seat if it differed the one allocated on their ticket.
According to supporter associations nationwide, new measures have been used overzealously or even abused by police forces, but for months fans haven’t had any support in their appeals to change the regulations.
This changed in early September when Ekstraklasa SA, the body governing Polish Premier League, expressed a similar view. Board member at Ekstraklasa Marcin Animucki appealed for solutions like safe standing and limited legal pyrotechnic displays to be concerned. He also assured his organization will be campaigning for legislation changes.
His voice was today strengthened by new authorities of PZPN, Polish football association. After elections in late October new vice-president and member of parliament Roman Kosecki (photo above) has just made his first public appearance with the very same appeal as the one by Animucki. “The law may have done good during Euro 2012, but now it’s time to adjust it to our league reality,” said Kosecki.
Moreover, head of Safety Comission at PZPN Mirosław Starczewski agreed with Kosecki that some measures may be implemented without challenging spectator safety. “It is our position, that using flares, of course under strict supervision, would not increase risks during football games,” said Starczewski today.