German Federal Administrative Court refers legal dispute over police costs in connection with football matches back to Bremen’s Higher Administrative Court

29 March 2019 – The German Federal Administrative Court has referred the legal dispute over the charging of fees for police operations at football matches back to Bremen’s Higher Administrative Court. The Court considers some aspects of the Higher Administrative Court’s clarification of the facts of the case to be insufficient. The Higher Administrative Court is now required to clarify the outstanding issues and reach a new decision on the complaint against the fee notification under consideration of the Federal Administrative Court’s legal opinion.

“The Court has found that the feepayer is entitled to a review of the specific expenses invoiced by the police. In our opinion, a police operation in the public space outside the stadium primarily serves to protect the general public and not the event. The clubs already take the responsibility for the safety within the stadium when matches are hosted,” explains DFL President Dr Reinhard Rauball.

The case relates to a fee notification for the police operation in connection with the match between SV Werder Bremen and Hamburger SV on 19 April 2015. In a first-instance verdict of 17 May 2017, Bremen’s Higher Administrative Court upheld the DFL’s complaint against the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and rescinded the fee notification, as it said the fees had been set unlawfully. In appeal proceedings, Bremen’s Higher Administrative Court revoked the first-instance verdict and rejected the DFL’s complaint against the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The DFL lodged an appeal against this verdict at the German Federal Administrative Court and requested a repeal of Bremen’s Higher Administrative Court’s verdict.