BERLIN (Reuters) – Werder Bremen president Hubertus Hess-Grunewald said he was in favour of a “controlled and legal use” of flares in the Bundesliga stadiums as opposed to the current complete ban.
German fans are not allowed to light any form of smoke bombs, fireworks or flares inside the league stadiums and violation of that rule always leads to sanctions and fines.
“(We must) discuss about a controlled and legal use of pyrotechnics,” Hess-Grunewald told Sueddeutsche Zeitung. He said the controlled use could stop the spiral of “repression and criminalisation”.
His comments come after police checks ahead of Werder’s season opening draw at VfL Wolfsburg caused a furore in the Bundesliga.
Thousands of arriving Werder fans at Wolfsburg’s train station were blocked by police from proceeding to the stadium and had to undergo extensive checks and searches if they wanted to watch the game.
Many protested and returned straight back to Bremen without going to the stadium. Wolfsburg also sharply criticised the police measures.
Werder has an ongoing legal dispute with the league and the state over police costs at league matches.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Christian Radnedge)