Fans subject to football banning order must give up passports during Euro 2024 finals

Thousands of violent and disruptive football fans have been banned from travelling to Germany for the upcoming Uefa Euro 2024 finals, as new measures came into force on Tuesday (March 26).

Mar 26, 2024
By Paul Jacques

From Thursday June 4, more than 1,600 people in England and Wales subject to a football banning order will have to surrender their UK passports to police until the tournament ends.

Those who fail to comply, or attempt to travel to Germany or surrounding countries during the period, will face a hefty fine with no limit, or in severe circumstances could face up to six months in prison.

Once the tournament has finished, passports will be returned, but anyone subject to a football banning order who wants to travel abroad to another nation during this time must obtain permission from the Football Banning Orders Authority.

The Home Office says police will also have additional powers during the period to intercept known troublemakers likely to cause further disruption. If caught trying to travel, they will face an immediate banning order hearing in court within 24 hours.

During the 2022/23 season, police made 2,264 football-related arrests and 682 new banning orders were issued – the highest since 2010/11.

Policing Minister Chris Philp said: “Violence, abuse and disorder have no place in the game we love.

“The vast majority of fans are law-abiding, but we will have zero tolerance for those who disrupt this incredible event.

“These measures will ensure true football fans can travel to the tournament safely and prevent hooligans from committing these crimes abroad.”

Similar approaches have been adopted in recent major football tournaments, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, as part of the Government’s continued crackdown on football violence.

Football banning orders are imposed by courts, following an application or on conviction for a football-related offence. This can include violence, disorder, pitch invasions, use of pyrotechnics and online hate crime.

They prevent people from attending regulated football matches for up to five years, and up to ten years if a custodial sentence is imposed.

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