Following the widely reported online racial abuse directed against several football players engaged in ‘the Penalty Shootout’, which decided the outcome of the Euros 2020 Football Competition, changes are being called for to extend the power of Football Banning Orders to cover such unacceptable racist behaviour.

Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors outlines the current position concerning Football Banning Orders which may be imposed by the Courts.

If you are concerned with any aspects of this article, it is important to seek early legal advice. We are a top ranked firm for criminal work by both the leading law directories Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

Our teams of crime defence solicitors are experienced in advising clients in relation to all aspects of the legislative framework.   

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Relevant Law | Kangs  Defence Solicitors

The Relevant Legislation, the Football Spectators Act 1989 (‘the Act’), provides that a court must:

  • make a Football Banning Order where an offender has been convicted of a relevant offence,
  • be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making such an Order would help prevent violence or disorder (Football Spectators Act 1989, s.14A) and
  • give its reasons if not satisfied that reasonable grounds exist for the granting of an Order.

What is a Relevant Offence? | Kangs Serious Crime Solicitors

Schedule 1 of the Act provides that a relevant offence includes:

  • possession of alcohol or being drunk while entering/trying to enter groundSporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985, s.2;
  • disorderly behaviourPublic Order Act 1986, s.5 – committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use or threat of violence towards another person committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use or threat of violence towards property committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below)at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use, carrying or possession of an offensive weapon or firearm committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • drunk and disorderly conductCriminal Justice Act 1967, s.91(1) – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • driving/attempting to drive when unfit through drink or drugsRoad Traffic Act 1988, s.4 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • being in charge of a vehicle when unfit through drink or drugsRoad Traffic Act 1988, s.4 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • driving/attempting to drive with excess alcoholRoad Traffic Act 1988, s.5 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • being in charge of a vehicle with excess alcoholRoad Traffic Act 1988, s.5 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • any offence under the Football (Offences) Act 1991;
  • unauthorised sale of ticketsCriminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s.166.

Potential Football Banning Order Requirements | Kangs Banning Orders Solicitors

The Act provides that the term of an Order must be between three and five years. However, where the Order is imposed in addition to a sentence of immediate imprisonment, the term of the Order must be between six and ten years

Requirements of an Order may:

  • impose an obligation to report to a specified Police Station within five days, surrender any passport and report to a Police Station during the ‘control periods’ associated with ‘regulated football matches’ outside the UK,
  • restrict presence in the vicinity of a football ground for a specified period,
  • prohibit travel on the national rail network without the prior approval of the British Transport Police.

Penalties for Breaching a Football Banning Order | Kangs Criminal Defence Team.

On summary conviction, a Magistrates’ Court may impose: 

  • a fine or;
  • imprisonment for a period up to six months.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

If any of the issues raised in the article affect you, it is advisable to seek early advice.

The team at Kangs Solicitors is accustomed to advising and guiding clients faced with allegations of criminal conduct of every nature. We can explain your rights to you and provide you with guidance on any likely future action.

Our aim is to instil a sense of calm in our clients, provide forthright and frank advice, and above all, provide our clients with practical solutions.

How Can I Contact You? | Kangs Solicitors

Our award-winning team of solicitors is nationally reputed for its excellence in criminal and fraud investigations of every nature.

We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.

Our team of lawyers is available to meet at any of our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange meetings via video conferencing.

For initial enquires please contact:

Sukhdip Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 0161 817 5020   

Amandeep Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 07989 521210