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Stronger punishments revealed for fan behaviour and crowd trouble at matches

Stronger punishments have been revealed for fan behaviour and crowd trouble at English football matches from next season onwards.

Pitch invaders at Premier League and EFL matches will receive an automatic club ban under new measures to tackle fan behaviour.

Concerns have been raised about safety at grounds after a number of pitch invasions at the end of last season.

Individuals who have or use pyrotechnics or smoke bombs will also be banned and identified offenders will be reported to the police.

The Football Association will also implement tougher sanctions for clubs.

It is an offence for fans to enter the pitch “without lawful authority or lawful excuse” under the Football Offences Act 1991 – but offenders haven’t always been prosecuted.

However, prosecuting offenders will now be the “default response” under the new measures.


The FA, Premier League and EFL are together introducing new measures and stronger sanctions across the game to tackle the increased anti-social and criminal behaviours recently seen within football grounds and underline the importance of a safe matchday environment.

The new set of actions, which will be implemented across all English football leagues from the start of Season 2022/23 and backed by the Football Supporters’ Association, will target activity such as entering the pitch without permission, carrying or using smoke bombs or pyrotechnics and throwing objects – as well as drug use and discriminatory behaviour.

These acts are dangerous, illegal and have severe consequences. They have no place in football, or anywhere.

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. These bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in these activities.

The safety of everyone attending a matchday is the game’s collective priority. We know the behaviours carried out by some fans last season do not represent the majority of supporters and they risk ruining the fantastic experience of a football match for everyone. Therefore, we are working with clubs to highlight the important role that fans, clubs, players and coaches all have to play in helping to create a safe environment.

Our strong and collective approach reflects how seriously we all view this issue and the severity of the risks. Nobody should be intimidated or assaulted in their workplace. The pitch must remain safe for players, managers and match officials, just as the stands should be for supporters.

To further support this action, the FA, Premier League and EFL are working with police forces, the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU), and the Crown Prosecution Service to establish a new principle for cases relating to pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, as well as entering the pitch without permission. This will mean cooperating to achieve a prosecution in these cases will become the default response of the football authorities and criminal justice system, sending a clear and unambiguous message to all who break the law.

Other measures to be implemented include working with clubs to enhance search regimes and increased use of sniffer dogs at grounds. We will also be working in partnership with our clubs, players and managers, the Government, broadcasters, the police and social media platforms in seeking to discourage the further growth or acceptance of these behaviours across English football. This includes working with social media platforms to establish new ways of quicker removal of fan-generated videos of illegal behaviour at football matches, including violent offences and pitch invasions. It also includes asking the Government to reform regulations to restrict the supply of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs.

FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham said: “We all know about the fantastic and unique role that football can play in bringing communities together. However, 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. Football stadiums must be a safe, inclusive and enjoyable environment for all, and 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.”

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “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. Premier League football should be a fantastic experience for everyone and we don’t want matches to be marred by these sorts of events in the future.”

EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch said: “This season sees new measures introduced and sanctions implemented that will serve to remind everyone attending games – but particularly the minority of people behaving in an offensive manner – that there are real life consequences for the criminal, dangerous and irresponsible conduct at football. It is wholly appropriate that these unacceptable behaviours will now be dealt with through a combination of police action and automatic club bans. There is nothing like going to watch your team live and that is why the English professional game has taken strong collective action, to ensure the match day experience remains a safe and welcoming environment for all including fans, players, club staff and match officials.”

Football Supporters’ Association Chief Executive Kevin Miles said: “We are contacted by supporters on a fairly regular basis who have been caught jumping on the pitch, or with pyro in the stands, and without exception they regret doing it. Whether they had positive intentions or not is irrelevant in the eyes of the law – pyro and pitch incursions are illegal, you will be prosecuted and you will be banned by your club.”

To support this new package of policies and actions, today marks the launch of an all-football campaign. ‘Love football. Protect the game’ will make clear the consequences of, and sanctions for, illegal and dangerous behaviour as we seek to urge fans to help us protect the game and keep everyone safe.

EFL slams 'reckless' fans after Luton stars abused during Huddersfield pitch  invasion – The Lutonian

Stronger punishments revealed for fan behaviour and crowd trouble at matches

Twitter users reacted to the stronger punishments revealed for fan behaviour and crowd trouble at matches…

@sylviacleaver: What happens to the away fans? Do they get banned from their own grounds?

@BradleyBrownn1: Should be tougher on pitch invaders, everyone has known that if u go on the pitch you’re at risk of being tackled to the ground by a steward

@PaulyD_97: Ban ‘can I have your shirt’ signs

@rkhargreaves: Good, all of which are things that people already shouldn’t be doing, but for some reason think theyre ok to bend the rules in the ways they see fit.

@thetower1953: More woke, snowflake nonsense, the EFL won’t be happy til you have to sit on your hands when your team score. They are determined to take any passion out of the game.

@RichardTonry: Well if the efl carries on the way they are eventually their won’t be any clubs left so it won’t be an issue will it! Sort the important stuff like clubs going bust! before moaning about pyro and smoke bombs! Guess you don’t watch European football & their fans #efl #fucktheefl

@rj101268: Why don’t you put more time into the way football clubs are run by criminals and fraudulent bastards who bring clubs to there knees then your organisation might get a bit of a thank you instead of this shit your doing

@BloozExtra: EFL bottling it over a few Pyros in the away end. I’d love you to put as much effort into dodgy football club owners as you do with pyrotechnics. Proper shithouse of a footballing governing body.

@KirkupAlex: My brother nearly had his face blown off at Wembley by a young lad holding a faulty flare… He now has a lovely ’99 Home shirt covered in burn marks from where it caught fire.

@Ohffs1984: Can you look at the criminal behaviours of people who own / try to own football clubs and help put a stop to that????

@CalBFC_: How about banning the parents that send the little shits on the pitch to beg for a shirt at the end of the game

@CalumHurst: Have a feeling there be very little wigan in that stand come may

@samneary09: Tics will have no away followin by Christmas

@EClarky97: They really do hate football fans. Imo you should put this energy in making women feel more included and not having shit people own football clubs but I guess that’s too much.

@_BenFinch: In other words you get caught for anything this season your banned, rough that

@ShakersMMV: This is why English football is known for having bad atmosphere

@MANN1SHBOY: Not be able to cheer when your team scores soon some fucker will put one in top corner in injury time and get a big thumbs up from away ends

@bryonylouu: Things at football that have made me feel unsafe: badly lit car parks/pathways, men shouting abuse and sexual comments at me, lack of safe standing facilities. Things that have never made me feel unsafe: pitch invasions, smoke bombs, pyro 👍🏻

See more of the following stories which including crowd trouble / interaction;

Benteke’s face grabbed by Everton fan | Zaha confronts taunting pitch invader

Viewers laugh as Everton fan smacks Joachim Andersen’s bum while kid swears at player

Patrick Vieira faces FA and police probe over kicking fan | Prem managers give verdict

New footage shows Port Vale fans PUNCHING Swindon players during pitch invasion

Port Vale manager sent off after touchline scuffle | objects thrown at McKirdy

Nottingham Forest thug named, shamed, and jailed for Billy Sharp headbutt

Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie captured in video stamping on Nottingham Forest fan

Update given on Billy Sharp as police arrest attacker | Jack Robinson confronted by fan

Horrifying video shows Nottingham Forest fan run and headbutt Billy Sharp

Nathan Jones labels Huddersfield fans a ‘disgrace’ for what happened after final whistle

Three arrests made in away end for discriminatory gestures during Tottenham v Burnley

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