Country Profile - Switzerland
Population: 8,453,550 inhabitants
Accession to the CoE: 1963
Council of Europe Convention on an Integrated Safety, Security and Service Approach at Football Matches and Other Sports Events (2016):
Date of Signature: 03/07/2016
Date of Ratification: 21/11/2019
Date of entry into force: 01/01/2020
Presentation of the country's main government and sports institutions:
Main sports/Sport activities
Main sports in the country:
Major sports events
Last major sports events organised since 2000:
- Men’s European Football Championships 2008, Basel - Bern - Geneva - Zurich
- Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships 2009, Bern - Zurich-Kloten
- Ski Alpine World Championships 2003, St. Moritz
- Ski Alpine World Championships 2017, St. Moritz
Future major sports events organised and/or co-organised within the next 5 years:
- Men’s Ice Hockey World Championships 2026, Zurich - Fribourg
The country's main sports competitions:
- Men’s Football club competitions: Super League - Challenge League - Swiss Cup - UEFA Champions League - UEFA Europa League - UEFA Conference League
- Men’s Football National Team competitions
- Men’s Ice Hockey club competitions: National League - Swiss League - Champions Hockey League
- Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup races, Adelboden
- Men’s Alpine Skiing World Cup races, Wengen
- Women’s Alpine Skiing World Cup races, St. Moritz
Supporter organisations involved at national level in representing supporters to public authorities or sports federations:
- Football: “Fanarbeit Suisse” Fanarbeit: Home - Fanarbeit Suisse (Fanarbeit Suisse no longer exists since the end of 2021, continuation of this work not yet determined.)
- Ice Hockey: Fanarbeit Swiss Ice Hockey Security | Swiss Ice Hockey Federation (sihf.ch)
National legal framework on sports safety and security, including specific legal provisions:
- Concordat instituant des mesures contre la violence lors de manifestations sportives;
- Loi fédérale instituant des mesures visant au maintien de la sûreté intérieure, article 24a, article 24c
- Loi fédérale sur les explosifs
- Code pénal Suisse
Existence of specific safety, security and/or service public policies:
There is no specific law on safety, security and service, however, the laws mentioned in the legal section add up to some of these concerns.
Additionally, police forces use the 3D-Philosophy at sports events. The three Ds are dialogue, de-escalation and impose/enforce (“durchsetzen”) which are applied in that order. The philosophy shall assure that before any hard measures are being taken any situation arising should be dissolved through dialogue and de-escalation first.
Police authorities may order stadium bans, area bans, obligations to report, police custody and travel bans for violent people. As well football and ice hockey clubs may order stadium bans.
Existence of regional / local strategies on safety, security and service:
The local authorities and the state police are in direct contact with the local Football and Ice Hockey clubs. They set the conditions to be followed for sporting events.
Major Risks and Incidents
Major risks and trends on sport-related violence and disorder:
- Violations of the Explosives Act are widespread in Swiss football and the risk of pyrotechnics being set off is always high. Likewise, many cases of riots are recorded. Other violent incidents also pose a risk (e.g., brawls, violence and threats against public officials). In ice hockey, the same types of offenses are recorded, but to a lower extent.
Last major incidents which seem relevant and enlightening on the need to adopt an integrated approach to safety, security and service:
- Ice Hockey: 07/01/2023, National League
The visiting fans were celebrating friendship with a friendly fan group from abroad. Before the match, they fired several pyrotechnic objects. During the subsequent fan march, several firecrackers, flares and firework batteries were set off. Furthermore, smoke pots were burned at the approaching bus of their team. During the game, a plastic sheet was rolled out over the sector of the away fans and pyrotechnic objects were set off. After the game, a confrontation between the home and visiting fans during the exit phase was prevented by the police. During the departure of the guest fans, pyrotechnic objects and firecrackers were again fired off. On the way to the train station, the guest fans threw firecrackers in the direction of the police. At the train station, a part of the visiting fans, including some of their friends from abroad, marched towards the stadium again, trying to get inside. Therefore, they kicked several times against a door, which is why the private security had to use pepper spray massively. The police consequently had to provide support and also used pepper spray. Subsequently, the police were again pelted with firecrackers before they went back to the train station. There, the train was prevented from departing and finally left with a long delay.
- Football: 12/05/2019, Super League
When the visiting fans arrived by train, bottles were thrown from the train. The entrance phase was calm. After 68 minutes of the game, guest fans stormed the pitch and demanded that their team take off the jersey including pants and hand it over to them. The Ultras were kept in check by the stadium security with the support of the police. The game continued until the referee officially stopped it after 90 minutes. The team finally handed over their jerseys to the Ultras. One of the Ultras also grabbed a player in the face.
Graph of the evolution of total incidents over the last years:
The following statistics provide a total overview of the number of games played over the past four seasons, categorised by the level of severity of the incidents. The green games do not mean that no incidents have occurred. Further, many minor incidents (e.g., burning pyrotechnics, assaults, etc.) can lead to a yellow or red game.
Example: In season 2018/2019 426 games (first and second league and Swiss Cup) have been played. In 68 of them violent incidents with particular severity occurred.
For more detailed information, such as the number of different incidents per season in football and ice hockey, we refer to our public statistics: Présentation électronique de la situation sportive suisse (reporting PESSS) (admin.ch)
For further information we also refer to our public statistics of the HOOGAN database. The HOOGAN database contains information on people who have engaged in violence at sporting events either in Switzerland or abroad and who are subject to one of the measures imposed by the authorities: Current Statistics of the HOOGAN database (admin.ch)