The law was adopted by politicians who have neither notion nor understanding of the matter and those people who work with pyrotechnics on a weekly basis became simply ignored. It became pushed through by Home Secretary Fekter in a high-speed process and is based on untrue representations of numbers and data of the national league and the Home Office. Firstly, these numbers and data justify the necessity of the law with a connection between pyrotechnics and violence which is completely absurd and artificially established and secondly with numerous injuries caused by improper use of pyrotechnic objects in connection with football sporting events.
An even closer look however shows that the cases concretely mentioned are damages, which were caused by firecrackers. These so-called “bangers” are though also rejected by the fan scenes of this country as they embody a risk potential which should not be treated lightly. Bengal firework, however, is responsibly used for years and used by many fan blocks of the country without incidences worth mentioning.
In addition, there exist many possibilities to make the use of pyrotechnics even safer, but outside the fan scenes there never were efforts though to take measures for the prevention of possible accidents. Rather, it was the purposeful attempt of politics and media to criminalize football fans and to restrict and limit their rights.
Over years torches provided atmosphere, emotions and the so often quoted southern atmosphere in Austria’s football stadiums. Clubs, press and TV have profited from these pictures for years but simultaneously denigrate and denunciate them.
The Austrian broadcast, for example, regularly advertises forthcoming sporting events with fiery atmospheric pictures. While it often comes to praising words by commentators at the winter sports, though, a fiery scenery is always associated with violence at football. This circumstance withdraws from any reality because pyrotechnic objects serve for the visual background of emotions at sporting events. They are neither expression of aggressions nor shall they mediate propensity to violence in any way.
We would first like to say that we are not at all against pyro near ski tracks but want to show the predominant double moral standards with which the very same topic is raised in public but presented extremely differently by the media.
Pyrotechnics – as an expression of emotions – must not be forbidden or reprimanded and least of all be subject to penalties in the sports.
The conceived exemptions are not an option for us since they can be interpreted as pure alibi action of the legislator. We strictly reject these since through this every emotionality, spontaneity and autonomy would get lost.
We clearly declare, however, in favour of:
Not using firecrackers or bangers
Not provoking game interruptions by handling pyrotechnics responsibly and posing no danger to other stadium visitors, ball kids or personnel
By providing containers filled with water or sand to ensure a safe burning off inside the fan sector and thereby also provide an orderly disposal of the burnt down and hot objects
Not throwing torches or other pyrotechnic objects on the runway or playing field
We request all responsible parties to allow a controlled and responsible use of pyrotechnics with respect to acceptable and adequate limits in appropriate conditions for all persons involved.