Premier League clubs ban pitch invaders and smoke bombs. The English Premier League and Football League have said that people who invade the field or use smoke bombs or fireworks will be punished harshly.
Last season, there were more pitch invasions at the end of the season as fans celebrated titles, promotions, or just making it through the season.
Several fights broke out on the field, including one with Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira. After Sheffield United lost in the playoffs at Nottingham Forest, Billy Sharp was attacked by a fan.
Smoke bombs and fireworks have been used at games in continental Europe and other parts of the world for a long time. They used to be used less often in England, but now they are used more often.
At the start of the new season, the leagues and the Football Association said, “all known offenders will be reported to the police by clubs, and if they are prosecuted, they could get a permanent criminal record, which could hurt their chances of getting a job or going to school, and could even land them in jail.”
The sentence said: “Also, anyone who goes onto the field or is found carrying or using fireworks or smoke bombs will now be banned from the club. These bans could also apply to parents or guardians who are with their children when they do these things.”
The groups said they were working with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to make sure that going to court “will become the default response.”
The leagues are also trying to stop the release of videos that show pitch invasions and smoke bombs. They are doing this by working with social media companies to quickly remove footage and by asking the government to change the rules so that pyrotechnics and smoke bombs are harder to get.
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Mark Bullingham, the head of the FA, said: “At the end of last season, we saw a rise in bad behavior in stadiums. This was completely unacceptable and put people’s safety at risk. Together, English football has put in place new rules and stronger punishments for the start of the next season to make it clear that this kind of illegal and dangerous behavior will not be tolerated.”
The Football Supporters Association agreed with the move (FSA).
“We hear from fans fairly often who have been caught jumping on the field or with fireworks in the stands, and they all say they regret what they did,” said FSA head Kevin Miles.
“The law doesn’t care if they were trying to help or not. If you break the law by setting off fireworks or getting on the field, you will be prosecuted and kicked out of your club.”
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