Teddy stadium
Teddy stadium Israel news photo: Flash 90

Fans at football games who get out of hand and resort to violence will now have to face the full force of the law, after the Knesset on Wednesday passed on its second and third reading a law that would significantly increase punishments for violent acts committed at sporting events.

Miscreants who are arrested committing violent acts at games, like throwing things at fans or players, fighting, or engaging in general mayhem, could be sentenced for up to ten years in prison, additional to the sentence for the specific crime they committed. In some cases, the court sentence for crimes will be automatically doubled if the statute is applied.

The law would apply to violence committed inside or outside stadiums, and to fans on their way to or from a game.

MK Yoel Razvovoz (Yesh Atid), author of the law, said that “there is good reason to approve this law, because the atmosphere at sporting events is very explosive. A violent act by one person can quickly turn into a large riot with additional violence,” he added.