As the 2022/23 Season commences, The FA, in conjunction with all Leagues of the National League System, are introducing a package of policy measures, actions and sanctions to tackle anti-social behaviour (and at worst criminal activity) at football matches.
The football organisations will collectively reiterate that these behaviours do not represent the majority of fans and will underline the importance of a safe matchday environment for everyone.
We are specifically addressing behaviour including:
- Pitch incursions (individual and mass invasions)
- The use of smoke bombs and pyrotechnics
- Throwing objects
- Discriminatory behaviour.
Every football fan should feel safe when attending matches and/or watching their team.
The FA, in conjunction with all Leagues of the NLS are bringing in strong measures across the whole of football to tackle antisocial and criminal behaviours within grounds.
This includes entering the pitch without permission, carrying or using smoke bombs or pyros and throwing objects, as well as drug use and discriminatory behaviour.
These are illegal, dangerous and have serious consequences. They have no place in our game.
For everyone’s safety, clubs will report anyone carrying out these offences to the police.
Anyone who enters the pitch and those carrying or using smoke bombs or pyros will now be ejected from the ground and where systems allow, be automatically banned by their club.
Prosecution by the police can result in a permanent criminal record, which could affect your employment and education, and result in a prison sentence.
The FA and the NLS Leagues are working with clubs and the Football Supporters’ Association to help keep football a safe and welcoming environment, by cracking down on dangerous behaviour that can put fans, players, staff and match officials at risk.
Pyrotechnics can burn at 2000 degrees Celsius and can cause life changing injuries and potentially fatal asthma attacks.
Entering the pitch endangers everyone because it’s impossible to tell the difference between a celebrating fan and a violent attacker.
The pitch must remain safe for players, managers and match officials, just as the stands, terraces and hard standing should be for supporters.
Let’s protect each other, your club and the game.
Laurence Jones, Head of National League System at The FA said:
“Anti-social fan behaviour has no place in football, and we stand united across the NLS and the rest of the game to send a strong message that such incidents will not be tolerated.
“The FA and the NLS Leagues are taking an all-football approach to tackling these behaviours to ensure all participants, including our loyal volunteers and spectators, are free to watch matches in a family friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.”
The National League General Manager Mark Ives added:
“No football fan should ever have to attend a game and feel unsafe.
“The pitch must remain safe for players, managers and match officials, just as the stands, terraces and hard standing should be for supporters.
“The National League are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other NLS Leagues to create a strong stance that condemns anti-social behaviour in everyone in football can protect each other, their club and the game.”
Love Football. Protect the Game.