Football related offences (Revised 2017)

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994: s.166 (unauthorised sale or attempted sale of tickets);, Football Offences Act 1991: s.2 (throwing missile); s.3 (indecent or racist chanting); s.4 (going onto prohibited areas)., Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985: s.2(1) (possession of alcohol whilst entering or trying to enter ground); s.2(2) (being drunk in, or whilst trying to enter, ground).
Effective from: 24 April 2017

Triable only summarily:
Maximum:
Level 2 fine (being drunk in ground)
Level 3 fine (throwing missile; indecent or racist chanting; going onto prohibited areas)
Unlimited fine (unauthorised sale of tickets)
Level 3 fine and/or 3 months (possession of alcohol)

Offence range:
Conditional discharge – High level community order (possession of alcohol)
Conditional discharge – Band C fine (all other offences)

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The Court should determine the offence category using the table below.

Category 1      Higher culpability and greater harm

Category 2      Higher culpability and lesser harm or lower culpability and greater harm 

Category 3      Lower culpability and lesser harm

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused with reference only to the factors below. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category.

CULPABILITY demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating higher culpability

  • Deliberate or flagrant action
  • Disregard of warnings
  • Commercial operation
  • Inciting others
  • (Possession of ) Large quantity of alcohol
  • Targeted abuse

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • All other cases

 HARM demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factor indicating greater harm

  • Distress or alarm caused
  • Actual injury or risk of injury
  • Significant financial loss to others

Factors indicating lesser harm

  • All other cases