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No room in English football for disorderly fans

26 May 2015

There is no place for misbehaving England supporters in international football, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on Football Policing has warned as police prepare to enforce Football Banning Orders ahead of the Ireland v England friendly in Dublin on June 7.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts was speaking in advance of an operation to ensure compliance from those subject to a football banning order as a result of their previous behaviour. In addition to the standard requirement for fans subject to banning orders to surrender their passports, they will need to attend a nominated police station on match day and sign to confirm attendance.  This additional requirement has been re-introduced for the first time in four years.

He said: “It has been a point of pride in recent years that England fans’ behaviour has completely moved on from the dark days of the 1980s.  We have been able to tell overseas police colleagues that they will not encounter the sort of problems that used to be associated with England fans.  While the majority of fans continue to behave themselves, in the last four England away fixtures we have seen a significant amount of drunken anti-social behaviour, unpleasant chanting aimed at provoking home supporters and a small number of people who seem to take every opportunity to create distress for others.

“Regrettably that means we have to increase our enforcement activity using tactics that proved successful in addressing these problems in the past.

“Given the deterioration in fan behaviour and the proximity of Dublin, I have reintroduced the requirement to sign on at a police station as well as to surrender passports.  We will be running a national operation to round up those who fail to comply before and immediately after the fixture. To make triply sure of compliance, these measures will be supplemented with all official England Supporters Travelling Club members being required to collect their tickets in person in Dublin with photo ID.

“I am in regular contact with the FA and other partners in the football community and, while there is no specific intelligence as yet to suggest planned disorder there is sufficient concern to take proactive action to ensure that fans are clear that bad behaviour is not acceptable and will face serious sanctions.

“Football policing ‘spotters’ from England will also be present in Dublin and the Aviva stadium to gather evidence of any bad behaviour and ensure anyone who offends faces the consequences of their actions,  We are working closely with An Garda Síochána to support their operation.”



Further information:

  1. Ireland v England kicks off at 1300 on June 7 at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  2. ACC Roberts and a small team of football intelligence ‘spotters’ from England will be deployed within the stadium by permission of An Garda Síochána. Obviously English officers have no jurisdiction in the Republic of Ireland and thus no powers of arrest but they can and will act in an advisory capacity with Garda colleagues and gather evidence if necessary for action to be taken back in England under football banning order legislation 
  3. All those who are subject to a Football Banning Order which bars them from attending international games must surrender their passport to police on June 2 or 3.  
  4. All those subject to passport surrender must also report to their nominated police station between 1000 and 1300 on June 7 to sign on. 
  5. England Supporters Travelling Club (ESTC) ticketholders must collect their tickets in person, with their photo ID, in Dublin prior to the match.
  6. The FA has so far this year suspended 17 members of the ESTC for inappropriate behaviour and issued warning letters to a further 46
  7. With reference to points 5 and 6, please note, NPCC will not be able to comment on FA internal procedures – this is for information only
  8. There will be 1875 individuals affected by Football Banning Orders ahead of the Ireland v England on June 7, of whom 1382 possess passports. It should be noted that the vast majority of these FBOs relate to disorder at domestic rather than international matches.