Frédéric Favre thunders against the concept of welcoming supporters in football stadiums

“The concept of good hosting (good reception) in stadiums is clearly a failure in terms of security”, according to Valais State Councilor Frédéric Favre. He responded Thursday to an interpellation filed by the left. The welcome concept is a project developed by the Swiss Football League (SFL) and launched in 2015. Its aim is to defuse the situation at the stadium entrances, by welcoming fans, not with helmeted and armored police officers but among others by “stewards”. In addition, checks are carried out sporadically and not systematically.

A point in particular that criticizes Frédéric Favre in charge of the department of security, institutions and sport in his response. “Good hosting only allows one in ten fans to be searched at the entrance to the stadium. Since its introduction, cases of pyrotechnics have thus increased with, in particular at the Tourbillon stadium, serious incidents such as these two children seriously injured on the auditory level”.

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The State Councilor also regrets the abandonment of registered tickets. The identity of people going to the stadium is not checked, seriously complicating the identification of at-risk fans. This allows them “despite a ban, to enter the stadium”, he explains.

Sion renounced the measures

Last summer, Sion was the first Swiss club to introduce – on the decision of Frédéric Favre – nominative tickets for its matches to better prevent acts of hooliganism and, ultimately, to reduce security measures. He had also closed the visitor area. The Tourbillon club finally renounced these measures in October, regretting unequal treatment and procedure compared to other professional clubs. The introduction of nominative tickets had also been strongly criticized by Valais supporters and fans of other teams.

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In his response on Thursday, Frédéric Favre also notes that there has been no depredation to date outside the stadium, thanks to a “substantial police force”. On the other hand, “serious security problems are occurring in the stadium whose security is the responsibility of the club and the Swiss Football League”. From 2017 to 2021, 24 out of 71 matches at the Tourbillon stadium were the scene of serious incidents or violence. An increase in these cases was particularly noted during the 2018/2019 season. On October 1, 2021, 86 fans, including 74 of FC Sion, were subject to measures in Valais on the basis of the concordat instituting measures against violence during sporting events.

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