FA announces new measures to address anti-social fan behaviour

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The Football Association (FA), alongside the Premier League and the English Football League (EFL), has announced new measures to help battle against anti-social behaviour in football stadiums after a number of incidents last season.

The closing weeks of the 2021-22 campaign saw some pitch invasions turn ugly, with Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp attacked after fans ran onto the pitch at the end of the Blades' Championship play-off second leg defeat to Nottingham Forest.

Another occurrence of disorder due to fans entering the field was after Port Vale's League Two play-off win over Swindon Town, with numerous Robins players claiming to have been attacked by Vale supporters.

And The FA is clamping down ahead of the new season, with fans now reported immediately to the police and automatically banned by the club for offences such as entering the pitch and the possession or use of flares or smoke bombs.

Parents or guardians of children carrying out offences will also potentially face sanctions.

Other measures announced included an increase in the number of sniffer dogs at stadiums, as well as more thorough searches of fans, while they called upon social media platforms to remove videos showing unlawful fan behaviour.

"The rise in anti-social behaviour that we saw in stadiums at the end of last season was entirely unacceptable," said Mark Bullingham, Chief Executive of The FA.

"Together, English football has introduced new measures and stronger sanctions for the start of the coming season to send out a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour.

"It is the responsibility of everyone in the game, including governing bodies, clubs, players, coaches, and fans, to ensure that we all play our part in protecting our game and each other."

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