MPs want to punish ticketless football after Wembley 2021

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By Creative Media News

  • MPs propose law for football entry
  • Wembley disorder prompts legislation
  • CMS committee calls for action

To prevent disorder seen at Wembley Stadium during the Euro 2020 final, Members of Parliament have suggested establishing a new criminal offence: unauthorised entry to football matches.

MPs advocate a distinct law penalising individuals entering football stadiums without permits.

The Culture, Media, and Sport (CMS) Committee of the House of Commons recommended this in response to disorder at the Euro 2020 finals at Wembley Stadium.

After the July 2021 match between England and Italy, approximately 2,000 unticketed spectators invaded Wembley Stadium post the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

“A horde of 6,000 or more ticketless fans, many mindless thugs,” as per Dame Louise Casey’s review at the time, attempted to enter; some could have been murdered.

MPs on the CMS committee now demand measures to prevent a recurrence.

Dame Caroline Dineage, committee chair, stated: “At high-profile matches, tailgating and other unauthorised entry into stadia is becoming an increasing problem, endangering safety due to overcrowding.

Participating individuals should be cognizant of repercussions, and the government should support legislation prohibiting such activities.

Proposed Legislation and Wider Reforms

The committee also wants the government to support the Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill, up for a provisional vote in February and proposed by Labour MP Kevin Brennan.

The report, unveiled today, also recommends new legislation, expanded trials on safe standing, greater emphasis from law enforcement and clubs on the misuse of Class A drugs during sporting events, measures to monitor and combat antisocial behaviour and discrimination, and provisions to ensure stadia are accessible to all.

In addition, it mandates guidelines for stewards’ function and an “appropriate wage.”

The CMS committee’s investigation also included the 2022 Champions League final in Paris, where ticket-holding Liverpool supporters were denied access to the stadium.

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Police and match organisers determined this, not spectator conduct.

The French authorities’ treatment of Liverpool supporters was deemed “disgraceful” by the committee, exacerbated by attempts to blame supporters for the disturbance.

MPs further stated that the manner in which foreign police forces interacted with British supporters constituted a noteworthy determinant.

Dame Caroline stated, “At major European matches, foreign police attitudes towards British fans far too frequently result in the inexcusable treatment of innocent supporters.”

Collaboration between the government and its foreign counterparts is necessary to strengthen the function of British police when they travel in teams and work with local forces.

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