FC Halifax Town fans banned from grounds on two occasions last season

FC Halifax Town fans banned from grounds twice last seasonFC Halifax Town fans banned from grounds twice last season
FC Halifax Town fans banned from grounds twice last season
Police-issued banning orders are in force for two FC Halifax Town fans, figures show.

The UK’s football police chief disorder was on the rise across England and Wales before coronavirus restrictions forced more than 500 fixtures to be cancelled or played behind closed doors.

Banning orders are issued following a conviction for a football-related offence, and prevent that individual attending all regulated matches in the UK.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Read More
Read more: Leeds United signs new contract with Brighouse-based practice

Home Office figures show two were in place against FC Halifax Town supporters as of August 1.

Stoke had the most banning orders in force during 2019-20 (52), followed by West Ham (51) and Mansfield Town (50).

There were 1,621 banning orders across England and Wales this year, a decrease of 8% on the same date in 2019 – but with 546 matches either cancelled or played without fans.

The UK’s football police chief, deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, said police normally see more incidents as seasons end, when titles and relegation battles are decided.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: "What we can see is that prior to the restrictions from Covid-19, there was already an increase in the levels of disorder at fixtures.

“In the previous season, there were incidents reported at 33% of 3,022 fixtures, and for the 2019-20 season, there were incidents reported at 36% of the 2,663 regulated fixtures.

“Significantly, the number of assaults against stadium staff and police officers are worryingly close to what we saw from a full season in 2018-19.”

Arrests linked to celebrations around matches played during lockdown are included in the figures, but DCC Roberts said that aside from a few high-profile incidents, such as Liverpool winning the Premier League, the vast majority of fans respected the rules and stayed away from grounds.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The figures also showed arrests for racist and indecent chanting across the top five divisions more than doubled last season compared to the campaign before.

The chair of anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, Sanjay Bhandari, said: "We need to mobilise everyone to stand against the rise in hate.

“Kick It Out will play its part with campaigning, education and talent programmes that diversify the face of football. But this is everyone’s responsibility.

"We all need to do more and we all need to take a stand against discrimination."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

No FC Halifax Town supporters were arrested for racist and indecent chanting in 2019-20, nor in any of the previous five seasons.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Hate crime has no place in football or anywhere else and we must all come together to confront it.

“The increase shown in these statistics is partly down to better recording and awareness, but we have no complacency in stamping out this evil from the game.

“We are bringing forward legislation to force social media companies to remove racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic abuse and we are working closer than ever before with the football authorities to bring perpetrators to justice.”

No FC Halifax Town fans were arrested last season for any offences.