English soccer authorities vow to stamp out fan trouble after West Brom-Wolves incident

Tue, Jan 30, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

English soccer authorities vow to stamp out fan trouble after West Brom-Wolves incident

English soccer authorities have vowed to stamp out "criminal" behavior inside stadiums after admitting they were "very concerned" about recent incidents.

Eight bodies including the English Football Association, Premier League and U.K. football policing unit said in a joint statement on Tuesday they would not tolerate acts of discrimination, violence or trespassing on the field of play.

Recent problems came to a head on Sunday when an FA Cup match between local rivals West Bromwich Albion and Wolves was paused for more than 30 minutes because of crowd trouble on Sunday. Both teams had to leave the field while police tried to control the situation.

"We are very concerned about the unacceptable events that have taken place in some of our stadiums recently," the statement said. "Acts of discrimination, violence and entering the field of play are all criminal offences - which can result in individuals receiving criminal convictions, football banning orders and life-time stadium bans.

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"While we understand that this behaviour is carried out by a small minority, we wish to remind everyone that these actions will not be tolerated and we will collectively work together, alongside the police, to bring offenders to justice and stamp this out of our game."

Incidents of alleged racist abuse by fans to players have also blighted the game.

In October, a fan was arrested and issued with a lifetime ban after appearing to make a racially offensive gesture during a fourth division match between Gillingham and Newport.

In December, an alleged racist comment was made by a fan toward Luton player Carlton Morris in a Premier League match against Sheffield United.

This month, South Yorkshire Police said it arrested a man after a racially aggravated public order offense at a game between Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry.

Other signatories to the joint statement were the English Football League, the National League System, referees' body the PGMOL, the League Managers Association, and the Football Supporters' Association.


James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson


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