Football fans face five-year ban if convicted of using drugs at games | football news

Football fans convicted of taking or selling class A drugs at matches face a five-year ban from attending matches, the government has announced.

The new rules, due to be announced by Police Secretary Kit Malthouse on Thursday, are part of the government’s attempt to halt violence and disorder at sports games.

They include the possibility that any convict could be asked to hand in their passports if their football team is playing abroad.

The Government hopes the new measures will prevent disorder like that seen at the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley last July.

Ahead of the announcement, Boris Johnson said “middle class cokeheads” are driving crime across the UK.

“Middle-class cokeheads should stop kidding themselves, their habit is fueling a war on our streets that is fueling misery and crime in our country and beyond,” the prime minister said.

“That’s why we’re stepping up our efforts to ensure those who break the law face the full consequences – because taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime.”

Significant rioting broke out outside Wembley on the day of the Euro 2020 final
Significant rioting broke out outside Wembley on the day of the Euro 2020 final

Mr Malthouse said police are increasingly finding Class A drugs are “at the heart” of the disorder at football matches.

“It’s been an exciting football season but in some games we’ve seen ugly violence that has shocked all leagues,” he said.

“Police are finding more and more Class A drugs at the heart of this disorder and that is why we must act. The football family wants every pitch to be a safe place for fans, especially children, and we want that too.”

Such bans have been successful in the past, according to Malthouse, who added: “Football ban orders have been a watershed moment in eradicating racism and violence in football and now we want them to do the same for drug-related disorders.”

“The government is determined to curb drug use and make it clear to those who use it that drugs have consequences.”

Euro 2020 final
The government hopes the new measures will prevent unrest like that seen in the Euro final between England and Italy last July

The Council of National Police Chiefs has backed the move.

NPCC Chief Football Officer Mark Roberts said: “I am delighted that the Government has updated legislation banning football matches to address the growing problems of disorder that we have been seeing, partly caused by the use of Class A drugs .

“Police and football authorities all support this measure and it is an important step in ensuring that drug use in football is tackled so that the majority of fans, particularly those with families, can enjoy themselves without suffering from anti-social behavior and violence.

“The UKFPU (The UK Football Policing Unit) will coordinate activities with police forces and clubs from the start of next season to ensure we make the best use of this legislation to tackle drug use in football.”

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