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MP report finds new legislation is needed to tackle unauthorised entry at football games

A MP report from the Culture Media and Sport Committee (CMS) has found that a new bill needs to be passed on unauthorised entry at football matches.

The new bill, named “the Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill”, would allow a football banning order to be imposed on conviction for fans who commit the offence of an unauthorised entry at a football match. A committee member put forward the bill, Kevin Brennan MP, who wants the proposed legislation to be passed immediately.

The MP report came after the CMS’s inquiry into fan and safety issues in football following the disorder at the Euro 2020 final, as well as the poor treatment of Liverpool fans by French police before the 2022 UEFA Champions League final in Paris.

The MP report condemned the treatment of Liverpool fans by French police before the 2022 UEFA Champions League final
The report described the treatment of Liverpool fans by French police before the 2022 UEFA Champions League final as ‘disgraceful' – Photo by Icon Sport

MP Report findings

A major finding of the MP report was that tailgating and fake tickets before the Euro 2020 final contributed significantly to the disorder, with the lack of criminal penalty allowing offenders to go unpunished.

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, chair of the CMS Committee, said: Tailgating and other forms of unauthorised entry into grounds are an increasing problem at high-profile matches, putting safety at risk from overcrowding. Those involved should know that they will face consequences and the Government should back legislation to ensure they can be banned.

Treatment of British fans

The MP report also found that the treatment of British fans by foreign police forces is unacceptable, with the attempt by French authorities to blame Liverpool supporters for the chaos that preceded the 2022 UEFA Champions League final described as ‘disgraceful’.

Dinenage said: “At big games in Europe, too often the attitude of foreign police to British fans leads to unacceptable treatment of innocent supporters. The government needs to work with overseas counterparts to bolster the role of British police travelling with teams and collaboration with local forces.”

Drug use at football

The growing use of Class A drugs at sporting events was also seen as a major issue that needs to be taken more seriously by football clubs and law enforcement.

Drug use at stadiums is at ‘almost 100 per cent’ across Britain, and the report concluded that it is unclear whether the use of Football Banning Orders for Class A drugs provides an ‘adequate deterrent’.

 


Will Murray

Freelance football journalist. Experience writing for When Saturday, Comes, Goalkeeper.com, Elite Scholars and Total Football Analysis. Recently finished an MA in Sport Journalism at the University of Brighton. Long-time season ticket holder at the two-time European Champions Nottingham Forest.

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