14. Football banning orders

The court must make a football banning order where an offender has been convicted of a relevant offence and it is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that making a banning order would help to prevent violence or disorder (Football Spectators Act 1989, s.14A). If the court is not so satisfied, it must state that fact and give its reasons.

Relevant offences are those set out in schedule 1 of the Football Spectators Act 1989 (further details below).

The order requires the offender to report to a police station within five days, may require the offender to surrender his or her passport, and may impose requirements on the offender in relation to any regulated football matches.

Where the order is imposed in addition to a sentence of immediate imprisonment, the term of the order must be between six and ten years. In other cases, the term of the order must be between three and five years. Football banning orders – Football Spectators Act 1989, s.14A Available on conviction of a ‘relevant offence’, listed in schedule 1 of the Football Spectators Act 1989. These include:

  • possession of alcohol or being drunk while entering/trying to enter ground – Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985, s.2;
  • disorderly behaviour – Public Order Act 1986, s.5 – committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use or threat of violence towards another person committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use or threat of violence towards property committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below)at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • any offence involving the use, carrying or possession of an offensive weapon or firearm committed: (a) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) at any premises while the offender was at, or was entering or leaving or trying to enter or leave, the premises; (b) on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches; or (c) during a period relevant to a football match (see below) and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to that match;
  • drunk and disorderly – Criminal Justice Act 1967, s.91(1) – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • driving/attempting to drive when unfit through drink or drugs – Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • in charge of a vehicle when unfit through drink or drugs – Road Traffic Act 1988, s.4 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • driving/attempting to drive with excess alcohol – Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • in charge of a vehicle with excess alcohol – Road Traffic Act 1988, s.5 – committed on a journey to or from a football match and the court makes a declaration that the offence related to football matches;
  • any offence under the Football (Offences) Act 1991;
  • unauthorised sale of tickets – Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s.166.

The following periods are ‘relevant’ to a football match (Football Spectators Act 1989, Sch.1 para.4): (a) the period beginning: i. 24 hours before the start of the match; or ii. 24 hours before the time at which it is advertised to start; which ever is the earliest, and ending 24 hours after the end of the match; (b) where a match advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day is postponed to a later day, or does not take place, the period in the advertised day beginning 24 hours before and ending 24 hours after that time. In all cases, consult your legal adviser regarding available orders and their specific requirements and effects