03/05/24

Football Banning Orders | Football Spectators Act 1989

Football Banning Orders | Football Spectators Act 1989
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The Football Spectators Act 1989 (‘the Act’) not only created specific offences relating to fan behaviour, such as throwing objects onto the pitch or into the crowd, racist chanting, violence against persons or property and alcohol-related offences. It also ushered in the implementation of Football Banning Orders.

A Football Banning Order may be imposed on conviction of the defendant for a relevant offence or through a complaint addressed to a Magistrates’ Court.

Sukhdip Randhawa of KANGS outlines the manner in which a Football Banning Order may be imposed and the consequences for breach.

Football Banning Orders

A Football Banning Order is one made by the court which:

  • in relation to a regulated match in the UK prohibits the person who is subject to the Order from entering premises for the purpose of attending such a match and
  • in relation to a regulated match outside the UK requires that person to report at a police station as directed.

Relevant Period

The Act provides that when referring to the ‘relevant’ period for the commission of an offence attaching to a regulated football match, it relates to the period beginning:

  • two hours before the start of the match, or
  • two hours before the time at which it is advertised to start, or
  • with the time at which spectators are first admitted to the premises,

whichever is the earliest and ending one hour after the end of the match.

Regulated Football Match

A regulated football match is an associated football match:

  • whether in the UK or elsewhere, which is a prescribed match or a match of a prescribed description.
  • is one which is played or intended to be played.

Relevant Offences

Such offences are set out at length in Schedule 1 of the Act and include offences:

  • under Public Order Act 1986,
  • involving possession of controlled substance,
  • involving alcohol whilst at or travelling to or from a regulated football match,
  • involving the use, carrying or possession of offensive weapons,
  • involving the use or threat of violence towards property.

Football Banning Order Made on Conviction

Section 14A of the Act provides that where a person is convicted of a relevant offence the court must make a Football Banning Order unless it considers that there are particular circumstances relating to the offence or to the offender which would make it unjust to do so.

Should the court not make a Football Banning Order, it must state its reasons for not doing so in open court.

A Football Banning Order may only be made in addition:

  • to a sentence imposed in respect of the relevant offence, or
  • an order discharging the defendant conditionally.

Football Banning Order made on Complaint

Section 14B of the Act enables a Football Banning Order to be granted following application by a relevant Chief Officer or the Director of Public Prosecutions if it appears that the respondent has at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

If the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making a Football Banning Order would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches, then it must be granted.

If the Magistrates’ Court adjourns the proceedings, it may remand the person in respect of whom the application is made in custody.

Appealing a Football Banning Order

An appeal may be made to the Crown Court against both the making of a Football Banning Order by the Magistrates’ Court and the dismissal of such an application to that court.

On appeal, the Crown Court may:

  • make such orders necessary to give effect to its determination of the appeal, and
  • also make incidental or consequential orders which appear just and necessary.

Consequences of Default

A person guilty of failing to comply with any requirement imposed by a Banning Order is liable for a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, a fine not exceeding level five on the standard scale or both.

How Can We Assist?

Appealing against any Football Banning Order is as difficult and complex as is the case involving any other criminal offence. However, the Team at KANGS is highly experienced conducting appeals through criminal courts at every level and enjoys nationwide acclaim for the quality of service and professionalism which it provides to each and every client.

If we can be of assistance, our Team would be delighted to hear from you, contact us using the details below:

Tel:       0333 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video.

Sukhdip Randhawa

Sukhdip Randhawa
Legal Director

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Helen Holder

Helen Holder
Partner

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