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Red cards for violent offences

Published söndag 17 oktober 2010 kl 13.23
A case for the police?

Football players are dealing out violence on the pitch that would get them locked up if committed on the street, says an investigation by Swedish radio.

The Kaliber program, and Radio Gothenburg, looked at 77 cases where players had been banned from play for more than a month. Of those incidents 40 were so serious that a guilty verdict would have resulted in a prison sentence - but only five were ever reported to the police.

Rather than using Sweden's courts football authorities are dealing with serious violence by allying their own penalties. For example, a punch in the face for an opposing player will result in a one month ban - then the attacker is back on the pitch with no other penalties.

Mattias Hansson is the trainer at Furulunds IK in Skåne. He says that the system isn't working.

"I would like to see the football association taking a harder stance... If a single player quits because he's scared, then football has failed."

He also thinks that clubs should not be shy if involving the police. "An assault is an assault, whether on the pitch or off. It should be reported to the police."

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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