Press release: Hooligans blocked from going to World Cup

Home Office Building - London - by .Martin. via Flickr

Press release: Hooligans blocked from going to World Cup

More than 1,200 troublemakers with a history of football-related disorder have been blocked from going to the World Cup after a joint operation by police and the Home Office.

The Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA) – part of the Home Office – ordered 1,312 banned individuals who hold a passport to surrender it to police on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 June.

The latest figures released today (Wednesday 13 June) show that forces in England and Wales have accounted for 1,254 passports.

This represents 96% of the people currently subject to football banning orders who hold a passport. Police will continue to root out the small number of outstanding passports throughout the tournament.

Police will hold the passports until the World Cup final on 15 July.

Forces throughout England and Wales have carried out enforcement action against banned individuals who failed to surrender their passports. This will continue throughout the tournament.

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said:

The World Cup is a festival of football and is no place for violence or disorder. The UK’s system of football banning orders is unique and means that people intent on causing trouble in Russia will instead be staying at home. I’m grateful to police forces for taking the necessary enforcement action to ensure that these thugs won’t be able to ruin the tournament for real fans.

Football-related arrests have fallen to an all-time low since the introduction of football banning orders in 2000.

Football banning orders are imposed by courts and can last for up to 10 years. Breaching a banning order is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £5,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

In addition to the banning orders, police will be deployed at major UK ports during the World Cup to stop known troublemakers from travelling to Russia before and during the tournament. Officers will identify people likely to become involved in football-related disorder and stop them from travelling to Russia.

A UK policing delegation will travel to Russia, at the host country’s request, to work with their local counterparts to assist in ensuring a safe and trouble-free tournament for England fans.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Lead for football policing, said:

Over the past 30 years the UK has made steady progress in eradicating the behaviour of those intent on engaging in football-related violence and disorder. Ahead of the World Cup, a comprehensive policing operation has been in place across the country to account for passports of those on banning orders, which has once again seen only a handful of those outstanding. The legislation used for banning orders is the most effective of its kind, and affords us the ability to ensure the vast majority of England supporters travelling to Russia are genuine fans who simply want to enjoy the tournament.

Around 10,000 people are expected to travel from the UK to Russia to attend the World Cup.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be providing up-to-date advice for fans in Russia throughout the tournament. The latest information can be found at the FCO’s Be on the Ball website.

Notes to editors

  • For media enquiries, contact the Home Office Press Office – 0207 035 3535
  • Read the latest FCO travel advice for Russia
  • 327 banned individuals do not hold passports. They are not required to report to police
  • The Football Spectators (2018 World Cup Control Period) Order 2017 establishes a control period for the tournament that commences on 4 June (10 days before the first match) and concludes on 15 July (when the last match in the tournament is played)
  • The control period empowers the FBOA to issue reporting notices to individuals subject to banning orders requiring them to surrender their passports ten days before the first match in the tournament. Passports can be collected on the last day of the tournament
  • Failure to comply with a reporting notice is an offence. The maximum sentence on conviction is a six-month custodial sentence, or a fine of up to £5,000, or both. The court may also impose a further preventative football banning order
  • The control period empowers police to intercept, detain and, where appropriate, prevent from travelling, any individual who has previously caused or contributed to violence and disorder provided the individual is assessed by the police as continuing to pose a risk. This prompts a banning order court hearing within 24 hours