UK government push for criminal laws to punish fans entering football pitches

Calls for New Criminal Offence and Better Collaboration

The British Parliament is pushing for the creation of a new criminal offence related to entering the field of play during football matches, as well as improved collaboration between UK and overseas police forces to enhance safety at sports events both at home and abroad.

Committee Report Highlights Safety Concerns

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee recently released a report titled “Safety at major sporting events”, which was prompted by chaotic scenes involving fans during the Euro 2020 final at Wembley and the 2022 Champions League final. The report emphasizes the need for secure, inclusive, and welcoming environments at sports grounds, especially during festive fixtures.

Criticism of Foreign Authorities and Recommendations for Change

The report was critical of the treatment of Liverpool fans by French authorities during the Champions League final, labeling it as “disgraceful”. It also highlighted the increasing problem of tailgating and unauthorised entry into grounds at high-profile matches, putting safety at risk from overcrowding. The lack of a distinct criminal penalty to address this issue and the need for increased financial contribution from sports bodies towards fan safety are also highlighted. The report calls for legislative actions to address these concerns and improve overall safety at sporting events.