By Graham Young
12 August
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Tackling anti-social behaviour

As the 2022/23 Season commences, The FA, in conjunction with all Leagues of the National League System, are introducing a package of policy measures, actions and sanctions to tackle anti-social behaviour (and at worst criminal activity) at football matches.

Specifically, these measures will address behaviour including:

Pitch incursions (individual and mass invasions)
The use of smoke bombs and pyrotechnics
Throwing objects
Discriminatory behaviour

Laurence Jones, Head of National League System at The FA said:

"Anti-social fan behaviour has no place in football and we stand united across the NLS and the rest of the game to send a strong message that such incidents will not be tolerated.

"The FA and the NLS Leagues are taking an all-football approach to tackling these behaviours to ensure all participants, including our loyal volunteers and spectators, are free to watch matches in a family friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all."

Every football fan should feel safe when watching their team.

But last season we saw a minority of supporters ruining the game for others. That’s why we’re supporting strong measures across football to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviours within football grounds. These include entering the pitch without permission, carrying or using smoke bombs or pyros and throwing objects onto the pitch, as well as discriminatory behaviour and taking drugs.

All of these are illegal, dangerous and have no place in our game. For everyone’s safety, clubs will report anyone carrying out these offences to the police, which can result in a permanent criminal record. These measures could also now apply to the parents or guardians of children involved in these activities.

From the start of the 2022/23 season, anyone who enters the pitch and those carrying or using smoke bombs and pyros will now automatically be banned by their club. These measures reflect the seriousness of the risks to fans and staff – pyros can burn at 2000 degrees Celsius and cause life-changing injuries, while entering the pitch endangers players, managers and match officials – it is impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a celebrating fan and a violent attacker.

The football authorities are working with clubs and the Football Supporters’ Association to make sure everyone feels safe on matchdays. We ask all fans to come together to show that those who commit these illegal acts do not represent the majority of supporters.

Love Football. Protect the Game.

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