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Hull fan was asked to stop texting during game or face ejection – club and EFL issue statement

A Hull City supporter has claimed he was asked to stop texting or face ejection from their side’s game against Reading on Saturday.

Daniel Mawer took to social media to post what happened, saying an “undercover security guard” approached him at half-time and made him feel uncomfortable.

He added he was spoken to as part of spot checks into unauthorised data gathering at matches.

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The fan wrote: “Today, at half time I was told by an ‘under cover security guard’ that if I continued to text about the football match at the KCOM stadium I’d be ejected from the ground.

“At half time a man in casual gear followed by a steward, came up to me and said ‘tell me what this says’

“holding a badge up that said security. I said (spoiler alert)

“‘…security?’

“He then explained he’d been watching me text throughout the first half, he asked what I’d been texting (in a not so friendly manner)

“I felt on edge telling a stranger what I’ve been texting, felt a bit invasive, and I felt uncomfortable saying I’d been innocently texting opinions on the match and my thoughts on what was happening to friends and family.

“My Dad explained we text friends the score. The man said if we continued to do so we’d be ejected from the ground.

“When we asked why, he said there’s trouble with people notifying betting companies/or gamblers of events at a match so they could cash out/make a bet void.

“So basically he was assuming I was some sort of gamblers informant at the KC Stadium (when I was just texting my girlfriend dumb stuff about Tom Eaves’s hair)

“I couldn’t get my head around it. I explained Hull City tweet details of the match faster than I ever could due to having stadium WiFi, along with Phil Buckingham and David Burns both tweeting details faster than I ever could (unless the security guard thinks I’m psychic and can see a goal coming)

“I pointed out that thousands of fans text and tweet throughout the match regarding the game, the club even asks you to vote for a man of the match via social media…

“I asked ‘what if I text a minute after an event has happened, or even 15 mins?’ Mr security man said we shouldn’t be texting about the match at all. And that this has been stated upon entering the ground (can you see that in the picture?!) and that these texts can’t include time of goals or goal scorers.

“I knew this was a lie, I asked how he could have possibly known what I was texting about, to which he didn’t have an answer. That made me feel incredibly watched. To reiterate these are private texts, one of which I sent to my girlfriend and me mum.

“I explained I’d text score updates and opinions for years to which he replied it was a new thing starting this year, and as it’s the first match of the new season he didn’t want to kick me out having not known these new ‘rules’…

“He softened at this point as if this was all a nice chilled run of the mill conversation (never happened to me in 20 years of watching live football)

“I didn’t text throughout the second half, my phone vibrated with updates and I didn’t have the nerve to look cos I’m a geek and a stickler for the rules.

“I felt a bit on edge for the rest of the game and subsequently didn’t text anyone.

“I’ve been following city since I was 7, home and away nearly every game since I was 13, and not once has anyone told me not to text updates privately to friends.

“If anyone has any clarity on this that’d be great as I’d like to let my friends know thoughts and opinions on the game as it happens, but don’t want to feel like I’m going to get kicked out of watching Hull City every time I do so!”

EFL’s statement read: “The EFL is aware of an issue that took place at Hull City’s home game against Reading on Saturday afternoon in respect of the Comsec Scout spotting programme which is managed by Football Data Co in collaboration with the League and its Clubs.

“As part of an initiative to minimise the unauthorised collection of data across EFL fixtures, access is provided at matches for Comsec representatives to operate and identify potential infringements.

“On initial review of this particular incident all procedures and protocols were followed, but clearly there is still some work to be done to ensure that these checks are conducted appropriately and sensitively.

“It is never the intention to offend and for that Football Data Co and the League offer its apologies to the supporter whose match going experience was inadvertently affected by this random spot check.”

A spokeswoman for Hull City said: “We are currently liaising with a supporter who encountered a spot check from Comsec with regards to unauthorised data gathering at Saturday’s match.

“Comsec are hired by Football Data Co to monitor the collection and distribution of Official Data. On request from the EFL the club accredited Comsec to do spot checks at yesterday’s match.

“We are currently working with the Superstadium Management Company (SMC), Comsec and the EFL to understand how this check was handled, and to understand how we can improve the Comsec Data Scouts Enforcement Programme at our stadium, and ultimately therefore the supporter experience moving forward.”

 

The post has caught the attention of thousands on social media including Gary Lineker who said “this is nuts”.

Fans also took to reply their thoughts on what happened at Hull, many were shocked with the bizarre scenario – find out what they had to say on the next page.

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