Home Secretary Priti Patel has visited Brentford’s Gtech Community Stadium to see the valuable work football clubs, the police and sporting bodies are doing to prevent anti-social behavior and improve fans’ enjoyment of the game following disturbances at regular season matches passed.
The Home Office is working closely with the police and football authorities to ensure that the majority of fans and families’ match day enjoyment is not ruined by the selfishness of some who invaded football pitches, set fires and abused players and fans at matches in England. and Wales last season.
The Home Secretary met officials from the Premier League and Brentford Football Club, who came top in a recent Premier League survey on the fan experience on match days, and saw the new safe areas inside the Gtech Community Stadium for fans, visited the control room and spoke to the security team about the valuable work they do to ensure match days are a positive experience for spectators.
She also spoke to staff members working on programs such as Premier League Kicks, which has worked in local communities to inspire thousands of young people. Premier League Kicks started in 2006 – with Brentford one of 4 pilot clubs – and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help young people in some of the country’s areas of greatest need.
The Home Secretary called on football fans across England and Wales to respect others’ enjoyment of the game and the law, or risk receiving a Football Barring Order (FBO) preventing them from attending home and away matches , potentially including the World Cup in Qatar. if they attack or abuse other fans, staff, players or managers.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
There is no place for the ugly scenes we saw at some matches in England and Wales last season and it is good to see the positive work being done by clubs like Brentford to ensure our stadiums are safe places for families and children to play. enjoy the beautiful game. .
I am determined not to allow a small minority to spoil matches for real fans as the football season gets underway and we are working closely with the police and football authorities to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour.
I wholeheartedly support the extra measures that all football bodies and clubs are putting in place to keep fans safe and I would encourage the police and courts to make full use of the Football Banning Order legislation which we have extended recently on internet abuse and we will bring it soon to eradicate class A drugs in the match.
FBOs are a preventive behavior order designed to prevent violence, disorder and harm and are imposed by a court following an application or conviction for a football-related offence.
Nearly 1,400 troublemakers have already been targeted by FBOs and banned by the courts.
In the last 12 months the government has significantly expanded the scope of FBOs in order to crack down on disorder by:
- adding football-related online hate crimes to the list of offenses for which an FBO can be imposed as a sentence, so that those convicted of online racism and other football-related hate crimes can are banned from stadiums, in the same way that violent offenders are banned from the base
- making the addition of Class A football drug offenses to the FBO’s list of punishable offences, sending a strong signal to those who use Class A drugs at and around football matches that their behavior will not be tolerated and that they will no longer be able to participate in the Games
In addition, FBOs have recently extended to the women’s home game, showing that no matter what games fans attend, violence and hatred will not be tolerated.
Recently, the Football Association (FA), the Premier League and the English Football League (EFL) announced that they were introducing new measures and stronger sanctions throughout the game to tackle the rise in anti-social and criminal behavior seen on football grounds. last season and to highlight the importance of a safe matchday environment. Football bodies are making it clear that such actions are dangerous, illegal and have serious consequences.
From the start of the 2022 to 2023 season, all offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, which could affect their employment and education and could result in a fine jail. The FA will also implement a tougher charging and sanctioning policy for clubs, which will reinforce these measures.
Additionally, anyone entering the pitch, and those carrying or using pyrotechnics or smoke bombs, will now receive an automatic club ban. These prohibitions may also extend to accompanying parents or guardians of children participating in these activities.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said:
Everyone should feel safe and able to enjoy a football match. Joining clubs and partners across football, we are making it clear that 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 gets seriously hurt, or worse.
The new measures introduced at the start of this season are a strong response to a significant increase in fan behavior issues, but we know that it is the minority who have behaved in an unacceptable and illegal manner.
Premier League football should be a fantastic experience for everyone and we don’t want matches to be marred by events like this.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said:
We are on the side of football fans and understand the passion and excitement that comes with supporting a team.
As the new season gets under way, we want to remind people that we will not tolerate anti-social behavior and have strengthened powers under our football ban legislation to tackle drug use and hate crime.
Together with the work being done by the football authorities, we are helping to root out those who seek to disrupt match days so that the right fans can enjoy a fantastic football experience.