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Football Banning Orders and the World Cup

View profile for Olivia Peck
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In the 2021-2022 season the police continued to take action over disruptive fans at football, with over 2,100 arrests and 516 new Football Banning Orders issued.

There is no doubt therefore that with the World Cup taking place, there will be a potential increase in disruptive behaviour by football fans leading to potential applications for a Football Banning Order.

What is a Football Banning Order?

A Football Banning Order is a civil order often imposed following a conviction for a football related offence. Often incidents occur at a football stadium or after the match, but they can occur amongst spectators watching a match elsewhere. Where violence is involved, an Order must always be made, and for lesser offences, an Order must be made if the Court is satisfied that it would assist in preventing future acts of football related violence or disorder. An acquittal after trial does not guarantee that an application for an Order would not be made and indeed granted.

How long can a Football Banning Order last?

An Order can last anywhere between three and ten years. If immediate imprisonment is imposed as part of the sentence for the offence, the Order must be for at least six years. If the sentence is not immediate imprisonment, or where an Order is sought on acquittal, then the Order has to be for a minimum of three years.

Can a Football Banning Order be Contested?

Yes, any application for a Football Banning Order can be contested before the Courts. The prosecution is required to call evidence to show the Court why the Order is needed. The facts of the offence may be sufficient for an Order to be imposed but prosecutors are able to rely upon other evidence such as previous convictions, cautions or warnings. Johnson Astills can assist and represent at contested hearings.

Can a Football Banning Order be terminated early?

Yes, an application can be made to the Court to terminate a Football Banning Order early, as long as two thirds of the Order has been completed.

How can Johnson Astills assist?

At Johnson Astills we have a specialist Criminal Defence Team who regularly deal with a variety of offences including football related offences, and have had success in dealing with cases involving Football Banning Orders. Our specialist solicitors and Crown Court advocates are highly experienced in dealing with all criminal matters at both the Magistrates’ and Crown Court.

If you find yourself facing a football related offence it is vital to contact a solicitor as soon as possible to obtain expert legal advice. Representation at the police station is free, and legal aid may be available for your case at the Magistrates’ and Crown Court. For offences which do not qualify for legal aid, we offer fixed fees for appointments and representation.

To discuss any football related offences or should you require advice and representation in football related criminal proceedings please contact the Criminal Defence Team at Johnson Astills at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.