Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Scottish fans could face football banning order for pyro misuse

Scottish fans could face a football banning order if they are caught using pyrotechnics inside stadiums. The Scottish government is reviewing pyrotechnic laws ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Potential football banning order for fans caught with a pyro

The use of flares and smoke bombs has increased in Scottish football in recent seasons. As a result, it is currently illegal to carry fireworks or flares into a stadium, thanks to legislation that was passed in 2023. Now, SNP ministers are working with the SFA, SPFL, and Police Scotland to figure out whether a football banning order (FBO) should be handed out to fans caught with pyros. An FBO can ban supporters for up to 10 years, which could include throwing a pyro inside a stadium following the discussions between the group of governing bodies.

Siobhian Brown, the community safety minister, said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of a football match without the fear of serious injury from pyrotechnics.

“We have considerably strengthened pyrotechnic laws, and those who carry fireworks and pyrotechnics in public and into football stadia can face fines and up to six months in prison. Despite this, pyrotechnic misuse at football matches remains an issue.

“We have been working closely with football’s governing authorities and with police on what more can be done to stop this antisocial and dangerous behaviour at football matches.

“Football Banning Orders of up to 10 years, are already an effective measure courts have at their disposal to deal with violent behaviour and I have asked this working group to consider whether extending their reach would be a further deterrent to pyrotechnic possession and misuse.

“Consisting of representatives from football and the justice sector, their review will also take views from clubs, fan groups, as well as front-line services.”

Pyro misuse an increasing issue in Scottish football

The announcement of the review of pyros and their misuse came shortly before the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Rangers. When the two teams met in the semi-final of the competition last season, it was delayed as fans set off pyros inside the stadium. A Scottish Premiership match between Dundee and Rangers was also delayed this campaign for 18 minutes following the use of pyros in the ground, which disrupted the match.

Calum Beattie, SPFL chief operating officer, said: “The dangers of pyrotechnics in crowded football stadia are significant and our clubs are keen to work with the Scottish Government, police and the courts to find meaningful ways of tackling this growing problem.

“Recent surveys have also shown that most fans believe there is no place for these devices at games.

“We are looking forward to playing an active role in this group to examine further how football banning orders can form part of a package of deterrence for any fans tempted to smuggle these dangerous items into grounds.”


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.

Articles: 266