FC Basel will not have to play their league game against Servette FC behind closed doors on 8 March after the Swiss Nationalliga lifted a total spectator ban on the Saint Jakob Park stadium.
Basel, winners of the Swiss league and cup last season, were hit with the punishment after crowd violence marred their home league fixture against title rivals Grasshopper-Club on 1 December last year.
The authorities decided to reduce the punishment on appeal, although a partial spectator ban is still in place for the 8 March game, which is Basel's first fixture after the winter break. Additionally, the club have also been fined €12,000.
Repetition would lead to full ban
Sections of the ground will be open for the Servette game, but the Muttenzer Curve, where the trouble occurred between Basel and supporters of Grasshoppers, will be closed. However, the disciplinary body of the Nationalliga made it clear to Basel that any repetition of crowd trouble would automatically lead to a full ban on the stadium.
Chief executive comments
Basel have introduced a number of improvements since the initial punishment such as an extendable tunnel, video-monitoring equipment and a dividing net between home and visiting supporters. “We hoped that all spectators would be allowed back into the stadium," said Basel chief executive Roger Hegi. "
The judgment of the security authorities was very positive about the new security measures and we will take the highest measures in our forthcoming matches."
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