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The FA, Premier League, EFL and WSL remind fans of dangers of pyrotechnics

3 November 2022

The FA, Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League are continuing to work with the Football Supporters’ Association to warn of the serious dangers of pyrotechnics at football, with a reminder that anyone found in possession or using these devices faces club bans and will be reported to the police.

At the start of the season, the football authorities introduced new measures and stronger sanctions across the game to tackle anti-social and criminal behaviours.

While fan behaviour on a matchday has shown some signs of improvement, there have been instances where pyrotechnics including flares, smoke bombs and fireworks have been found or used in stadiums.

A number of injuries have come from these incidents, including burns and breathing problems, alongside damage to hands, hearing, lungs and eyes. As a major fire hazard, pyros can also cause damage to grounds and surroundings.

It is illegal to bring them into stadiums and there are consequences for anybody who breaks the law and ground regulations. Anyone caught possessing or using pyrotechnics will be reported to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record. The pitch must remain safe for players, managers and match officials, just as the stands should be for supporters.    

The message is clear: pyrotechnics put people at risk and are not welcome in our stadiums.  

Love Football. Protect The Game.

Notes to Editors


  • Pyrotechnics can burn at up to 2500 Celsius and can easily cause significant burns. The high temperatures mean that ignition of structures or other hazards is possible. This can cause a localised fire.
  • Due to their explosive power, life-changing injuries can arise from being close to an explosion from a pyrotechnic and hearing damage is also very likely to those within a few metres of such a device exploding.
  • Lung and eye damage can also be caused by repeated or high concentration of toxic smoke, which can also exacerbate existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.
  • Impact damage to eyes, or chemical contamination can cause temporary or even long-term loss of sight, particularly if there is physical damage or burning, and loss of hearing can result from close proximity of explosive effects, such as bangers. 

Case Studies:

  • A Milton Keynes Dons supporter suffered multiple seizures as a result of a smoke grenade and the noxious fumes it produced during a fixture against Oxford United.
  • Oxford United highlighted that incident, and also two others to have occurred during its fixtures, with all incidents leading to an arrest – see here
  • An individual was arrested by Cumbria Police after a firework was thrown on to the pitch during a recent fixture between Barrow AFC and Carlisle United, which resulted in a delay of more than 15 minutes – see here
  • Bradford City condemned the use of pyrotechnics after a supporter was struck by a device during their game against Newport County in August – see here
  • A Blackpool supporter was handed a three-year ban after being caught letting off a pyrotechnic during the opening day fixture against Reading.

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