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Football Association Of Wales : Threaten supporters regards use of pyrotechnics
Monday, 25th Mar 2024 16:59 by Keith Haynes

The FAW have made certain statements with regards the law that seem to breach data protection legislation and the exchange of information of persons between the police and a public or private body. This relates to the use of pyrotechnics in public.

Now we all know the use of pyrotechnics in a football stadium has been declared a criminal offence in England and Wales, however that isn’t the case in other European countries. That aside the unnamed FAW spokesperson has not clarified what they are saying when they reference what they believe to be the law.

The text of this information from the Welsh FA is : “Additionally, should persons be identified using pyrotechnics in places of public assembly away from and en route to the stadium, they can be issued with section 34 notices and be instructed to leave the area with details passed to the FAW, Cardiff City Stadium and the authorities. This may result in entry to the stadium being denied.”

There is no law under the use of fireworks or pyrotechnics that enable this to happen. The law regards the ‘Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014’ seems to be what this uninformed individual is talking about. Although no criteria for tomorrow’s game has been declared under the act by South Wales Police. This in most cases is done in advance of gatherings of members of the public where disorder is expected. It can be done in an emergency but that seems to be stretching that term for the use of a pyrotechnic ‘in public’ not at a football stadium.

This is all well and good, but for the FAW to believe that they have the right to have this information from the police, and then for them to act upon it is extremely questionable and breaches data protection we believe. Not only that the employment of certain security at football matches hardly reaches a high standard of scrutiny. There are many examples. With no order in place and the police just referring to the actual law with respect to the use of pyrotechnics in a football ground it seems bizarre that the FAW would carry out a threat of this nature. No declarations of how that information will be stored, shared, accessed and the private use of it - and by whom we believe is a misuse of the legislation. It should also be noted that the civil liberty of all concerned in any public act pertaining to ‘Section 34’ has to be considered and there has to be a direct effect on public safety.

If anyone has had this happen to them, especially back in September 2022 when the two countries met in the Nations League we suggest a subject access request is filed with Cardiff City Football Club, the FAW and any other body who has access to information that could breach data protection.

A person with a pyrotechnic at one end of the city cannot be banned from the stadium because first of all the law needs explaining by a police officer, written declarations made and the opportunity to comply with regulations by the ‘perceived’ offender.

Making threats against the very people who are your customer base and then making what to us is clearly a flawed link to use of private information requires challenging. Consider that done.

Photograph licensed from Reuters

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ReslovenSwan1 added 19:02 - Mar 25
Presumably targetted at our Polish visitors who might not to want to miss their flight home.

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