Cambridge United would like to remind its supporters of new tougher measures and stronger sanctions relating to anti-social and criminal behaviours at football grounds across the country…
The FA, Premier League and EFL have introduced a new set of actions, which will be implemented across all English football leagues this season and are backed by the Football Supporters’ Association.
The new measures target activity such as entering the pitch without permission, carrying or using smoke bombs or pyrotechnics and throwing objects - as well as drug use and discriminatory behaviour.
These acts are dangerous, illegal and have severe consequences. They have no place in football, or anywhere.
From the start of the 2022/23 season, all identified offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, which may affect their employment and education, and could result in a prison sentence. The FA will also be enforcing a tougher charging and sanctioning policy for clubs, which will reinforce these measures.
Furthermore, anyone who enters the pitch and those identified carrying or using pyrotechnics or smoke bombs will now receive an automatic club ban of three years. These bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in these activities.
The safety of everyone attending a Matchday is the game’s collective priority. We know the behaviours carried out by some fans last season do not represent the majority of supporters and they risk ruining the fantastic experience of a football match for everyone. Therefore, it is vital to highlight the important role that fans, clubs, players and coaches all have to play in helping to create a safe environment.
Our strong and collective approach reflects how seriously we all view this issue and the severity of the risks. Nobody should be intimidated or assaulted in their workplace. The pitch must remain safe for players, managers and match officials, just as the stands should be for supporters.
To further support this action, The FA, Premier League and EFL are working with police forces, the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU), and the Crown Prosecution Service to establish a new principle for cases relating to pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, as well as entering the pitch without permission. This will mean cooperating to achieve a prosecution in these cases will become the default response of the football authorities and criminal justice system, sending a clear and unambiguous message to all who break the law.
Other measures to be implemented include enhanced search regimes and increased use of sniffer dogs at grounds. The FA, Premier League and EFL will also be working with clubs, players and managers, the Government, broadcasters, the police and social media platforms in seeking to discourage the further growth or acceptance of these behaviours across English football. This includes working with social media platforms to establish new ways of quicker removal of fan-generated videos of illegal behaviour at football matches, including violent offences and pitch invasions. It also includes asking the Government to reform regulations to restrict the supply of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs.
The Abbey Stadium should be a safe place to watch football for every one of all ages. Please play your part in maintaining a positive, supportive and inclusive Matchday atmosphere.