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EFL Statement: Crowd Behaviour

18 May 2022

Unfortunately, at recent end-of season and Play-Off Semi-Final fixtures we have witnessed a number of unsavoury and unacceptable incidents take place with supporters entering the field of play.

These are currently under investigation by the relevant authorities and the EFL condemns in the strongest possible terms the reckless actions of individuals who have brought the game into disrepute with this unacceptable behaviour. The League is working closely with the Police and Clubs, offering its full support to the ongoing investigations. 

Supporters are reminded that it is against the law to enter the pitch at any time and could result in a Club ban and criminal record. More importantly it puts the safety of players, coaches, managers and match officials at risk. It is vital that those playing the game can do so safe in the knowledge that they will not be subjected to violent, threatening or anti-social behaviour going forward.

Many people have already lost the privilege of watching their team via club bans this season and further punitive action will follow for those who continue to disregard ground regulations and break the law at football matches.  

We recognise that this lawlessness is being conducted by a small minority of individuals and that the majority of people attending matches are a credit to their club.  However, it is not acceptable for supporters to enter the field of play at any time given the EFL’s objective is to ensure our matches remain a safe and welcoming one for all. Therefore, over the summer we will consider what further measures are now at our disposal, including the potential use of capacity reductions or other similar mitigations. 

Fans are also advised that the use of pyrotechnic devices inside a football stadium is a criminal offence that will potentially lead to police action, prosecution, and a ban from football. 

Pyrotechnics and flares can burn at up to 2,500°C and can cause significant injuries to carriers and fellow spectators. We have also seen many incidents that have resulted in people experiencing burns, breathing difficulties, distress, and discomfort.

Whilst the issue of pitch incursions and the use of pyrotechnic devices are primarily matters that fall within the remit of the Police and Football Association, the EFL continues to work closely and collaboratively with all the relevant parties to address the broader issue of anti-social behaviour. 

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