Fans entering the pitch or using objects such as flares and other pyrotechnics at football matches in England would be immediately banned by clubs as part of new measures to tackle disorder. The issue of security inside stadiums has raised alarm bells after a series of incidents on the home stretch of last season in the Premier League and other competitions.
In one incident, Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira kicked an Everton fan who taunted him during a pitch invasion at Goodison Park. Additionally, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was hit in the head by a Nottingham Forest fan at the end of the Second Division qualifier. The Forest fan was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.
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“The increase in anti-social behavior we have witnessed in stadiums at the end of the season is totally unacceptable and puts public safety at risk,” said Mark Bullingham, chief executive of the English Football Association.
“Together, English football has adopted new measures and tougher penalties to send a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour,” he added. The FA did not specify the extent of the bans.
The Football Supporters’ Association has backed the new measures, which will come into effect from the start of the 2022-23 season. The bans could extend to parents or carers of children involved in pitch invasions, the FA said.
New additional measures for Premier League fans
Other measures to be implemented include more thorough searches of individuals as they enter stadiums, the presence of more sniffer dogs and working with social media platforms to immediately remove videos of misconduct.