Morocco to penalize use of flares in football stadiums

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Rabat, Aug 4 (IANS) The use of flares inside Moroccan football stadiums is set to be penalized from now on with sentences of between two and five years in prison, the country’s official gazette reported on Saturday.

Due to a legal loophole, flares had been a common sight until now in the North African country’s stadiums, where they frequently create huge clouds of smoke that impede visibility.

There have been many cases of accidents and hot flashes due to the abuse of flares, which are very popular among organized amateur groups of fans.

The step is the latest measure that aims to bring order to the bustling Moroccan stadiums, which have seen many brawls between fans or confrontations with the police, Efe news reported.

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The number of cases involving violence at sporting events, which also often takes place in the neighbourhoods surrounding the football fields, have not declined despite harsh punitive measures, including the closure of stadiums and heavy fines imposed by the Moroccan authorities against clubs that tolerate such behaviour.

–IANS

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