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Why Rotherham v Sheffield Wednesday was temporarily stopped

Rotherham v Sheffield Wednesday was temporarily stopped in first half of Wednesday’s fixtures. We look into why and what happened.

The local derby, played at the Millers’ New York Stadium, was brought to a halt after just five minutes, causing the players to come off the pitch.

Numerous footballers could be seen visibly having just got the match going, with some going to the officials to vent their annoyance at the game stopping.

It is all because an unauthorised drone was spotted above the ground, so the referee has no choice but to follow the protocols and take the players off the field of play.

Referee Jarred Gillett stopped play after a couple of minutes to talk with the fourth official and a safety officer after spotting the aircraft, with the protocols followed by the officials to bring a temporary halt to proceedings.

After discussions with both teams’ captains Richard Wood and Barry Bannan and both benches, the game was stopped at four minutes and 15 seconds. The players were then taken off the pitch while the situation with the drone was investigated and they were sent to the dressing room.

Rotherham boss Paul Warne said: “I never saw the drone. I looked all over. I’ve got eyes liked pickled onions.”

These newly developed aircraft have been carrying cameras, filming above stadiums and capturing games and the media are then posted online.

This is an big issue and highlights the potential safety and security risks.

Most stadiums with safety certificates have standard operating and contingency plans in place in order to respond to unplanned incidents, clubs may wish to review their contingency plans to consider potential safety and security risks from the use of these drones.

What are the risks of drones in sports grounds?

  • Loss of control of the drone over spectators.
  • Loss of control of the drone over or near a structure or building.
  • Potential disruption to the sporting event, and possible consequences of that disruption.
  • Potential terrorist activity.

The game restarted, and it took just 40 seconds for Rotherham’s Jamie Lindsay to head home after Freddie Ladapo’s blocked shot looped into the air.

Sheffield Wednesday defender Tom Lees ended up getting sent off for pulling back Mickel Miller after he rounded keeper Cameron Dawson.

Daniel Barlaser scored from the spot kick, before Lindsay got on the end of a rebound to make it 3-0 by half time.

The Millers had plenty more opportunities to extend to their goal tally, add to their lead after the break but Dawson was there to prevent it because even more embarrassing for Garry Monk’s side.

Talking of Monk, fans are slamming him for picking up yet another defeat, having lost to Luton Town at the weekend.

They were deducted 12-points, however after a decent start to the season, they’ve got that down to minus 4, but with teams above them picking up points, they now sit nine points adrift of safety at the bottom of the Championship table and have lost their past three matches.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“I don’t think we were at our absolute best. There were pockets of play where we did well and some things we need to work on.

“I thought we had more cutting edge tonight and there were some really impressive performances.

“It’s a relief, I won’t lie. Three points in this league are like golden nuggets.

“We’ve had a really long pre-season but I think we’re really fit and I think it’s an advantage for us.”

Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk told BBC Radio Sheffield:

“Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong in that first half.

“We’ve seen mistakes, costly mistakes creep back into our game. The past two games it’s been self-inflicted.

“They’re individual errors that you can’t legislate for.

“It’s not good enough and we know that but it’s hard to put your finger on because the preparation has been good.”

Rotherham United confirmed why their match v Sheffield Wednesday was temporarily stopped.

It read: “Rotherham United can confirm that the Sky Bet Championship fixture with Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night was temporarily halted due to safety concerns surrounding an unauthorised drone in the airspace around AESSEAL New York Stadium.

The object was identified by members of the stewarding staff during the first half of the match and subsequently brought to the attention of the match officials who stopped the game – taking the players off the field of play – as a safety precaution.

Working alongside South Yorkshire Police, the Club have identified the offending party and the drone has been seized.

Following the initial enquiries made by South Yorkshire Police, we have deduced that the drone’s presence in the stadium’s airspace was not a threat.

The Club will now work alongside South Yorkshire Police to determine whether any further action is deemed necessary.

The Club will be making no further comment on the matter at this time.”

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