FAW : Wales supporters could get three year bans for using pyrotechnics
Tuesday, 24th May 2022 09:00 by @Cornish67David & Keith Haynes
The football association of Wales have made it very clear to those fans attending the huge World Cup Play Off match on Sunday June 5th that three year banning orders are an option for those who breach current legislation.
Recent issues involving supporters of numerous Premier League and Football League sides with players being assaulted and criminal damage being caused at grounds is of real concern. As yet we do not know who the opponents are for Wales, that will either be Scotland or Ukraine who play off with the right to play Wales in Cardiff when they meet on June 1st.
Although the FAW have not mentioned pitch encroachment they have circulated their opposition to use of pyrotechnics at the game. In a statement they have said ‘There is no safe use of pyrotechnics in spectator areas at football events with their use having many health risks and dangers such as loss of sight, limb or digit removal due to their explosive power. Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match or attempting to bring such a device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events Act 1985. Any person committing such an offence faces an FA Wales ban, probable arrest and a minimum three year Football Banning Order’
No football fan should forget the incident involving a marine distress flare in November 1993 in another World Cup Qualifier in Cardiff which killed sixty seven year old John Hill from Merthyr. That night the opposition were Romania. Mr Hill’s son, speaking about the incident which brought his fathers life to a premature end has spoken about what happened on numerous occasions over the years. "I could hear this huge rushing noise and I remember looking round and I couldn't see anything - and the next thing I was aware of, my dad fell forwards. I didn't put the two events together - the noise and my dad falling forwards. I thought my dad had simply had a heart attack or had fallen. I never once realised a high velocity rocket had hit my dad. I leaned forward to try and pick my dad up, and when I stepped back because I realised I couldn't lift him on my own, both of my hands were covered in blood. My jeans, my shoes, they were covered in blood. That just stopped me for a moment. Then I remember shouting 'can somebody help me please, something's happened to my dad'."
Seriously, this must not happen again, although it was a marine distress flare it does come under the examples given for pyrotechnics. Any incident could easily escalate in to another situation nobody wants to see.
Wales fans with pyrotechnics in that ill fated game in 1993
There is a whole raft of legislation that is today not that often used by the police and courts from travelling to and from games whilst drinking alcohol on organised transport to pitch encroachment. It seems since lockdown certain people have forgotten how to behave in public. It’s really as sad as that. The sporting events act is not often mentioned in relation to todays modern football matches, but it seems the FAW are reliant on this legislation with regards to exclusive use of pyrotechnics. Hopefully those other offences that ‘could be’ committed will not go ignored, fans need to be in the stands and players need to be on the pitch, that’s the deal.
It isn’t hard to work out. And it actually does save lives.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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