2006 Basel hooligan incident
The 2006 Basel hooligan incident (often called "Disgrace of Basel") occurred on 13 May 2006 in Basel, Switzerland. On that day hooligans supporting the Swiss football club FC Basel 1893 stormed the field of the St. Jakob-Park after a championship-deciding match against the FC Zürich. FC Zürich scored in the dying moments of the match and won 2–1. The goal ended the dream of Basel winning the Swiss Super League a third time in a row. This resulted in property damage and riots between hooligans of both the FCB and their rival supporters after the match. This riot is considered as one of the worst incidents involving hooliganism in Swiss sport to date.
Course of events
FC Basel and FC Zürich were practically neck and neck for the entire 2005–06 Swiss Super League season. It all came down to a last match between the last two championship competing teams on the 13 May in Basel. The situation was that Basel were in first position in the league table, three points ahead, and they had a home fixture in the sold out St. Jakob-Park against their sole remaining rivals for the championship title Zürich. Therefore, Basel needed one sole point to be Swiss champions, a draw would have been sufficient. Zürich, on the other hand, required a win to top Basel and win the championship.
The game itself was fought fiercely with many fouls on both sides. In the 90th minute the score was 1-1 which would have meant that Basel would have been championship winners by three points. The Basel fans and the officials were already celebrating and preparing for the victory celebrations. During the last few minutes of the match Basel played very defensively, keeping the ball out of their half of the field. In the 93rd minute Zürich were awarded a throw-in from the right side of the field. The ball was thrown in, some twenty meters further forward from the correct point, to the right flank of the field, from where midfielder Florian Stahel crossed the ball into the Basel penalty area. The Basel defense failed to remove the ball from their penalty area and it came to Zürich defender Iulian Filipescu who shot the ball past Basel goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbühler into the left hand corner of the goal. Referee Massimo Busacca ended the match directly after the goal and Zürich were champions.
The Zürich players immediately started celebrating with their team officials. Not even 30 seconds after the final whistle had been blown, dozens of Basel supporters stormed the pitch. These hooligans started attacking the Zürich players and officials who then tried to flee into the changing rooms. Filipescu was attacked numerous times. A flare was also thrown at him, but it narrowly missed its target. On the other end of the stadium the small group of Zürich fans who had travelled to the match started celebrating with their players, whilst police built a human wall near the center line to prevent the hooligans from advancing any further.
The supporters of FC Zürich also invaded the field illegally. Whilst celebrating with their fans, Filipescu was attacked again by Basel hooligans. He and his team-mate Alhassane Keita furiously kicked the attackers out of their vicinity before the police detained them. The victory ceremony was held on the main stands instead of on the playing field because the hooligans were still clashing with the police. By this time the police were beginning to outnumber the vandals. The fighting and clashing did not end immediately after the match. Further battles were held between hooligans and police outside the stadium and this lasted until late into the night. The police used water canon and rubber bullets to restore order.
FC Basel made a statement regarding the events and distanced itself from the hooligans.
FC Basel were punished because of their inability to control their own fans. The club was fined CHF 80,000. Additionally the first two home games of the 2006-2007 season were held completely without spectators, in so called "ghost matches". The following three games were to be held with just 3/4 of stadium capacity, without the eastern corner (the called the "Muttenzer Kurve") of the stadium being unoccupied during the games.
FC Zürich were also punished because of their inability to prevent their fans setting foot on the field. Zürich were fined CHF 30,000.
Sources and references
- The disgrace of Basel 13-05-2006 (Basel – Zurich) an English link to footballviolence.wordpress.com
- Swiss Football and the Disgrace of Basel an English link to pitchinvasion.net
- More footage on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN_qbl7uG7w
- Weber, Dominik (2006). "Fatales Gegentor in letzer Sekunde. FCB verliert Titel an den FCZ" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2006-05-13.
- Sautter, Alexandre; Sandro Brotz (2006). "Die Schande von Basel" (in German). Blick.ch. Retrieved 2006-05-13.
- FC Basel 1893 (2006). "Stellungnahme des FC Basel 1893" (in German). FC Basel 1893. Retrieved 2006-05-14.
- rei (2006). "Bestürzung über die Schande von Basel" (in German). NZZ. Retrieved 2006-05-15.
- Beaumont, Adam (2006). "Basel face stiff penalties over match violence". swissinfo.org. Retrieved 2006-05-15.