Glasgow football fans face banning orders if caught using pyrotechnics in stadiums

It is already a criminal offence to take or try to take a pyrotechnic into football matches.
-Credit: (Image: Steve Welsh/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)


Football fans could face banning orders if they are caught with pyrotechnics in stadiums, under tougher rules being considered by the Scottish Government and football authorities.

Those caught with flares would be handed football banning orders, which stop offenders from entering any football ground in the UK or attending the national team's matches abroad.

It is already a criminal offence to take or try to take a pyrotechnic into football matches, while carrying pyrotechnics in public without a reasonable excuse was recently made an offence.

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Later today, Celtic will play Rangers at the Scottish Cup final at Hampden.

On Saturday, the government announced an expert group had been set up to consider the use of football banning orders as a penalty for pyrotechnic possession and misuse.

It will include Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), the Scottish Football Association, the Football Safety Officers Association, Police Scotland and the Crown Office

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown said: "Everyone should be able to enjoy the excitement and atmosphere of a football match without the fear of serious injury from pyrotechnics.

"We have considerably strengthened pyrotechnic laws, and those who carry fireworks and pyrotechnics in public and into football stadia can face fines and up to six months in prison. Despite this, pyrotechnic misuse at football matches remains an issue.

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"We have been working closely with football's governing authorities and with police on what more can be done to stop this antisocial and dangerous behaviour at football matches.

"Football banning orders of up to 10 years, are already an effective measure courts have at their disposal to deal with violent behaviour and I have asked this working group to consider whether extending their reach would be a further deterrent to pyrotechnic possession and misuse."

Earlier this week, Ms Brown condemned the scenes of disorder in which took place in Glasgow the previous weekend.

Police arrested 19 people as 25,000 people gathered in in the city to celebrate Celtic's title win.

Four officers were injured in disorder during the impromptu gathering at Glasgow Cross.

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Calum Beattie, chief operating officer of the SPFL, said: "The dangers of pyrotechnics in crowded football stadia are significant and our clubs are keen to work with the Scottish Government, police and the courts to find meaningful ways of tackling this growing problem.

"Recent surveys have also shown that most fans believe there is no place for these devices at games.

"We are looking forward to playing an active role in this group to examine further how football banning orders can form part of a package of deterrence for any fans tempted to smuggle these dangerous items into grounds."