“The rise in anti-social behaviour we saw in stadiums at the end of last season was entirely unacceptable and put people’s safety at risk,”
“Together, English football has introduced new measures and stronger sanctions, for the start of the coming season, to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour.”FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said.
Pitch invaders at Premier League and EFL matches will receive an automatic club ban and be reported to the police in a new crackdown by football authorities ahead of the new season.
Any individual who carry or use smoke bombs or pyrotechnic will also be banned following multiple high-profile incidents in England last season.
Clubs will be given tougher sanctions by the Football Association and prosecuting offenders will now be the “default response” under the new measures.
The leagues and the FA pledge to:
- Work with clubs to improve searches of individuals
- Increase use of sniffer dogs at grounds
- Work with social media platforms to quickly remove fan-generated videos of illegal behaviour
- Ask the government to restrict the supply of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs
- Potentially ban accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in illegal behaviour
“These acts are dangerous, illegal and have severe consequences,”
“They have no place in football, or anywhere.A statement from England’s football’s authorities read.
“From the start of Season 2022-23, all identified offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, which may affect their employment and education, and could result in a prison sentence.
“The FA will also be enforcing a tougher charging and sanctioning policy for clubs, which will reinforce these measures.
“Furthermore, anyone who enters the pitch and those identified carrying or using pyrotechnics or smoke bombs will now receive an automatic club ban.”
Pitch invasions have been a criminal offence since 1991 but it usually goes unpunished during moments of celebration.
However, things got out of control at the end of last season during promotion and relegation battles.
Crystal Palace manager Patrick Viera kicked out at an Everton fan who’d been goading him when a pitch invasion took place as Everton stayed up in the Premier League.
Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was assaulted by a Nottingham Forest fan during celebrations in the second leg of their Championship play-off tie.
Those were just two incidents amid safety concerns at grounds last season.
“The rise in anti-social behaviour that we saw in stadiums at the end of last season was entirely unacceptable and put people’s safety at risk,”
“Together, English football has introduced new measures and stronger sanctions, for the start of the coming season, to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour.
“It is the responsibility of everyone in the game, including governing bodies, clubs, players, coaches, and fans, to ensure that we all play our part in protecting our game and each other.”FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters added:
“Everyone should feel safe and able to enjoy a football match.
“Together, with clubs and partners across football, we are making clear the type of incidents we saw last season must stop. If we don’t take collective and sustained action, it may only be a matter of time before someone is seriously injured, or worse.
“These new measures are a strong response to a significant increase in fan behaviour issues, but we know it is the minority who have behaved unacceptably and unlawfully.