The Senate approves a bill establishing clear and tough criminal penalties for violent fans as well forcing soccer clubs to ensure better rights for their players, Colombian media reports.
The legislation will prevent sports organizations from accepting funds from illicit sources by making management more transparent, will ensure that clubs meet their obligations to provide social security and pension benefits to their athletes and will implement tougher penalties against violent hooligan groups or, “Barras Bravas.”
A senator who sponsored the bill, Dilian Fransico Toro, spoke in reference to the penalities against hooligans, hailing the new legislation as a step towards changing the violent culture of Colombian soccer to allow families to return to the stadiums, Terra reported.
Toro stated, “If an individual causes trouble then they can be banned from the stadium for a period of three to six years, but if they commit violence, carry a weapon or are found in possession of drugs, then they can receive up to ten years in prison,” reported El Espectador.
In addition, anyone who buys shares in a soccer club will also have their names passed on to UIAF, an institution charged with investigating money laundering and the financing of terrorism in Colombia
The bill will now be voted on in the House of representatives and will then be passed on for presidential approval before it can become a law.