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Saturday 4th
posted by Morning Star in Sport

SUPPORTERS who take pyrotechnics into football grounds were yesterday warned that they face a minimum three-season ban as well as criminal charges.

All 72 Football League member clubs have signed up to a new Chairman’s Charter which aims to put an end to the dangerous use of items such as smoke bombs, flares and fireworks in stadiums.

Chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “Taking pyrotechnics into our grounds is a criminal offence and, where there is evidence that the law has been broken, the police will always seek to impose a football banning order as an appropriate measure.”

The league made the announcement ahead of the weekend’s Guy Fawkes celebrations and it follows several “incidents of significant concern” which have seen supporters suffer serious injuries. These include a 15-year-old boy who required hospital treatment for lung damage after a smoke bomb was thrown during a game.

Supporters face a minimum three-season club ban if they breach the new regulations, although clubs will be able to reduce the length of the suspension “should an offender recognise the danger of their actions,” the league added in a statement.

Harvey, however, believes the governing body has a responsibility to all fans to take action over the issues.

“The league recognises the collective role it must play in deterring supporters from committing pyrotechnic offences and from today, as a result of the introduction of the new charter, our clubs in all instances will ban any supporter if they are found to be in possession of a banned device when entering a Football League venue,” Harvey said.