Thursday 14 November 2019

English fans banned from Ireland game will be rounded up and arrested if they fail to sign in

Gardaí restrain a fan during the abandoned game in 1995
Gardaí restrain a fan during the abandoned game in 1995
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

English football fans banned from attending next month's friendly international against Ireland must report to UK police on the day of the game.

The operation is an attempt to prevent chaotic scenes similar to those 20 years ago when the two countries met at Lansdowne Road.

The UK's National Police Chief's Council is rolling out a number of initiatives in an attempt to clamp down on hooligan behaviour. The operation, as a result of a "deterioration of fan behaviour" among travelling supporters at England's last four away games, will see individuals subject to football banning orders being prevented from travelling to Dublin for the game.

Certain fans that are subject to football banning orders will have to surrender their passport four days prior to the match, with the document being returned after the fixture, which takes place on June 7.

A total of 1,875 individuals are affected by football banning orders ahead of the game.

As well as handing over their passport, supporters who have been linked to hooligan behaviour will have to sign on at "nominated police stations" in the UK between 10am and 1pm on the day of the game.

A national operation will then be enforced to round up those who fail to comply.

A group of football policing 'spotters' will also be sent to the Aviva Stadium to act in an advisory capacity with gardaí.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs' Council Lead on football policing, told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One today: "We’re working closely with the gardai to make sure that those who do arrive don’t spoil it for everyone else and we can just talk about a game of football and not disorder.

"At the last three major championships, there hasn’t been a single English fan arrested and I think it is important that we do get this in context. It is a small minority and what we have seen in teh last four games is a small group of people who drink to excess and they’re engaged in anti-social behaviour,

"We attend each game that England play abroad with the supporters and local police and we will take banning action against anyone who is found to misbehave if of course they aren’t subject to prosecution where the match has taken place.

"As a result of incidents in the past, we have some strong legislation, so if you’re subject to a banning order, in most cases when England play abroad, you have to surrender your passport at a police station.

"In this case, because of the possibility to travel to Ireland without a passport, anyone subject to a banning order has to sign on to a police station near their home on the day of the match.

"That’s a powerful way to make sure they don’t travel.

"In the run-up to the game and immediately after the game there is a national operation underway to make sure that anyone who hasn’t complied with that condition will be visited and arrested."

Irish Independent

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