Fan misbehavior on the rise in English football: Government

According to government statistics, there were 441 matches where pitch invasions were reported last season.

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LONDON (AP) — The number of pitch invasions at soccer games in England and Wales last season soared 127% from the last full campaign before the coronavirus pandemic, government statistics show. Thursday.

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Data provided by the Home Office – a government department responsible for law and order – has highlighted the growth of anti-social behavior at matches, which football authorities are trying to tackle.

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On Wednesday, the Premier League announced that fans who run onto the pitch during matches or use items like smoke bombs and pyrotechnics will be automatically banned from clubs for at least a year.

According to government statistics, there were 441 games where pitch invasions were reported last season, more than double the number in the 2018-19 season.

Football-related arrests increased by 59% to 2,198. This is the highest number as 2,273 were made in the 2013-14 season.

Incidents of disorder were reported in 1,609 of last season’s 3,019 games – or 53% – compared to 1,007 games in 2018-19. There were 384 games where a hate crime incident was reported, an increase of 99%.

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Authorities issued 516 new football banning orders during the 2021-22 season, with 1,308 effective at the end of the season.

“Disorder is a problem that has not gone away,” said British Football Police Chief Mark Roberts, “and throughout last season we have seen an increase in crime at football matches. football across the country – from the Premier League right up to the National League (fifth division).

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Roberts said drug use and alcohol are key factors driving disordered behavior and noted the government is adding Class A drug offenses to the restraining order legislation.

The Home Office has taken steps to ensure female domestic gambling is covered by prohibition orders.

Among last season’s messy incidents, Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp was punched in the face by a Nottingham Forest fan at the end of a Second Division playoff game, leading the fan to a prison sentence of 24 weeks.

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Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira kicked a taunting Everton fan during a pitch invasion at Goodison Park. A Manchester City fan who ran onto the pitch and mocked Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen on the final day of the season at the Etihad Stadium has been handed a four-year banning order.

Speaking while on duty in England this week, Tottenham defender Eric Dier said he believed fan behavior had worsened.

“My family would never go to an away game these days because of this, and it’s a shame that I feel too uncomfortable for them to go to away games” , said Dier, who was involved in a confrontation with a fan after Tottenham’s loss to Norwich. during an FA Cup game in March 2020.

Dier climbed into the stands after the fan argued with the defender’s brother. Dier received a four-match ban from the Football Association and was fined.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson says his family and friends were discouraged from going to games due to the kind of crowd chaos seen in the European Championship final at Wembley Stadium last year and the Champions League final away from Paris this year.

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Joan J. Holland