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Sporting Events 

Sporting Events
Chapter:
Sporting Events
Author(s):

Glenn Hutton

, Gavin McKinnon

, and Paul Connor

DOI:
10.1093/law/9780198829836.003.0011
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Subscriber: null; date: 21 March 2019

4.11.1 Introduction

There are several offences and statutory measures which are specifically aimed at tackling disorder and anti-social behaviour at sporting events.

4.11.2 Designated and Regulated Football Matches

Many of the offences and powers relating to football fixtures apply to ‘designated’ or ‘regulated’ football matches. In summary, the expressions generally have the following meaning:

  • An association football match (in the United Kingdom) as described below will be a regulated football match for the purposes of part II of the Football Spectators Act 1989. The description will cover association football matches in which one or both of the participating teams represents a club which is, for the time being, a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference or the Welsh Premier League, the Scottish Premier League, or the Scottish Professional Football League, or represents a country or territory.

  • An association football match (outside the United Kingdom) as described below will also be a regulated football match for the purposes of part II of the 1989 Act. The description will cover an association football match involving:

    • a national team appointed by the Football Association to represent England or the Football Association of Wales to represent Wales; or

    • a team playing in the Football Association Cup (other than in a preliminary or qualifying round); or

    • a team representing a club which is, at the time the match is played, a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference or the Welsh Premier League, the Scottish Premier League, or the Scottish Professional Football League; or

    • any match involving a country or territory whose football association is for the time being a member of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), where the match is part of a competition or tournament organised by or under the authority of FIFA or the Union des Associations Européennes de Football (UEFA), and where the competition or tournament is one in which the England or Wales national team is eligible to participate or has participated;

    • any match involving a club whose national football association is a member of FIFA, where the match is part of a competition or tournament organised by or under the authority of FIFA or UEFA, and where the competition or tournament is one in which a club from the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference or the League of Wales is eligible to participate or has participated; or

    • any match involving a club whose home ground is outside England or Wales but they are playing within England or Wales.

4.11.3 The Football (Offences) Act 1991

Offence Football (Offences) Act 1991, ss. 2, 3 and 4

  • Triable summarily

  • Fine

The Football (Offences) Act 1991, ss. 2, 3 and 4 state:

  1. 2. It is an offence for a person at a designated football match to throw anything at or towards—

    1. (a) the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, or

    2. (b) any area in which spectators or other persons are or may be present, without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove).

  2. 3.

    1. (1) It is an offence to engage or take part in chanting of an indecent or racialist nature at a designated football match.

    2. (2) For this purpose—

      1. (a) ‘chanting’ means the repeated uttering of any words or sounds (whether alone or in concert with one or more others); and

      2. (b) ‘of a racialist’ nature means consisting of or including matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting to a person by reason of his colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.

  3. 4. It is an offence for a person at a designated football match to go onto the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove).

Keynote

Section 1(2) of the 1991 Act provides that references to things done at a ‘designated football match’ include anything done at the ground:

  • within the period beginning two hours before the start of the match or (if earlier) two hours before the time at which it is advertised to start and ending one hour after the end of the match;

  • where the match is advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day but does not take place, within the period beginning two hours before and ending one hour after the advertised starting time.

A ‘designated’ match for these purposes is the same as a ‘regulated’ match under the Football Spectators Act 1989 (see para. 4.11.2).

These offences can be separated into those affecting the playing area and adjacent parts of the ground (ss. 2 and 4) and the offence of indecent or racialist chanting (s. 3).

In the case of the first offence (s. 2), throwing anything at or towards the playing area etc., there is a defence of having lawful authority or lawful excuse (which presumably would cover returning the ball to the field of play). Generally there seem to be few occasions on which a defendant would have lawful authority/reasonable excuse for the behaviour prohibited by s. 2.

Section 4 makes the same savings in relation to lawful authority/reasonable excuse and, in both cases, the burden of proof falls on the defendant. (The standard of proof will be that of the balance of probabilities.)

For the offence under s. 3, the defendant must be shown to have repeated the words or sounds before it can be classed as ‘chanting’.

The wording of s. 3(2)(b) requires that the chanting is, rather than, might be, threatening, abusive or insulting. Although not expressly required, the best way to prove this element of the offence would be the evidence of a person who was threatened, abused or insulted. In relation to chants ‘of a racialist’ nature, shouting ‘You’re just a town full of Pakis’ at supporters from Oldham fell squarely within the definition (DPP v Stoke on Trent Magistrates’ Court [2003] EWHC 1593 (Admin)).

‘Indecent’ is not defined and will be a question of fact for the court to decide in all the circumstances.

4.11.4 Banning Orders and Detention

The Football Spectators Act 1989 contains the powers to impose banning orders that exclude offenders from attendance at regulated football matches in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and international football matches.

There are two ways in which a banning order can be made, first where a person is convicted of a relevant offence (s. 14A), and secondly, by way of complaint by the relevant chief officer, or the DPP (s. 14B(1)).

4.11.4.1 Convicted of Relevant Offences

The relevant offences are set out in sch. 1 to the 1989 Act and include offences relating to drunkenness, violence or threats of violence, or public order offences committed at or in connection with a football match or when travelling to or from a football match (whether or not the match was actually attended by the offender). In R v Elliott [2007] EWCA Crim 1002, banning orders were quashed where it was found that violence involving a group of men in a public house was unrelated to the match. In making a banning order a court may take into account the potential deterrent effect of the order on persons other than the offender (R v Curtis [2010] EWCA Crim 123).

Rather than simply having the power to make such orders, courts are under a statutory duty to pass such orders if they are satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the orders would help prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with a ‘regulated football match’ (see para. 4.11.2). Violence here includes violence towards property, and disorder includes stirring up racial hatred (1989 Act, s. 14C). Where these criteria are established, there is no discretion not to make an order (R v Allen [2011] EWCA Crim 3076). In Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Thorpe [2015] EWHC 3339 (Admin) a banning order restricted to three named clubs was held to be lawful. Such an order enabled the subject to continue an interest in football other than at the three named clubs where a court had decided that his absence would be helpful in reducing violence and disorder at such events.

The court may adjourn any proceedings in relation to an order even after sentencing the offender and may remand the offender (s. 14A(4A) and (4BA)). Where the offender is remanded on bail he/she may be required not to leave England and Wales before appearing before the court and to surrender his/her passport to a constable (s. 14A(4BB)).

If a magistrates’ court fails to make a banning order, the prosecution have a right of appeal to the Crown Court, or to the Court of Appeal where the Crown Court failed to make an order (s. 14A(5A)). If the offender does not appear for any adjourned proceedings, the court may further adjourn the proceedings, or it may issue a warrant for his/her arrest but only after it is satisfied that he/she has had adequate notice of the time and place of the adjourned proceedings (s. 14A(4B) and (4C)).

Keynote

Banning orders made under s. 14A of the 1989 Act (on conviction of a relevant offence) in addition to an immediate sentence of imprisonment will have a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 years’ duration (s. 14F(3)). Other banning orders made under s. 14A (i.e. where they do not accompany a sentence of immediate imprisonment) have a minimum of three and a maximum of five years’ duration (s. 14F(4)).

4.11.4.2 Complaint by Chief Officer or DPP

On such an application a magistrates’ court can make an order if the person has at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. The court may impose conditions on banning orders and must require the surrender of the person’s passport in connection with regulated football matches outside the United Kingdom (s. 14E(3)). Where proceedings are adjourned, as with the first way of obtaining a banning order, the offender may be remanded and, where bailed, be required to surrender his/her passport (s. 14B(5)). Again, where the magistrates have failed to make a banning order, the prosecution have a right of appeal to the Crown Court (s. 14D(1A)).

The effect of a banning order, unless a person is detained in legal custody, is that he/she must initially report to a specified police station in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, within five days of the order being made (s. 14E(2)). He/she must also notify the enforcing authority of specified changes to his/her personal circumstances within seven days of the occurrence of any such changes (s. 14E(2B) and (2C)).

Keynote

Banning orders made under s. 14B (on complaint by a chief officer of police) have a minimum of three and a maximum of five years’ duration (s. 14F(5)).

4.11.4.3 Banning Orders—General

If a banning order has been in effect for at least two-thirds of its period, the person subject to it can apply to the court which passed the order for its termination. The National Crime Agency (NCA) has responsibility for monitoring the movement of football spectators and collating relevant intelligence. The Football Banning Orders Authority is the ‘designated authority’ for the purposes of the 1989 Act. Under the Football Disorder Act 2000, the NCA is empowered to disclose information for the purposes of the 1989 Act.

International banning orders do not contravene either the general European law on the free movement of people within the European Union, or the European Convention on Human Rights (Gough v Chief Constable of Derbyshire [2002] EWCA Civ 351). In Gough, the Court of Appeal held that there was no absolute right to leave one’s country. As banning orders were to be imposed only where there were strong grounds for concluding that the person had a propensity to take part in football hooliganism, the court held that it was appropriate that such people should be subject to a scheme that restricted their ability to indulge in that hooliganism. Banning orders are not criminal charges, nor are the proceedings in applying for them ‘criminal’ proceedings (Gough).

4.11.4.4 Failing to Comply with Banning Order

Offence Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 14J

  • Triable summarily

  • Six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine

The Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 14J states:

  1. (1) A person subject to a banning order who fails to comply with—

    1. (a) any requirement imposed by the order, or

    2. (b) any requirement imposed under section 19(2B) or (2C) below is guilty of an offence.

Keynote

The reference to s. 19(2B) and (2C) is to the power for the enforcing authority to issue written notices requiring individuals to report to a police station in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and, where relevant, to surrender their passports, in advance of certain matches.

A number of exemptions are provided for under s. 20. These allow, among other things, for the person on whom an order has been passed to apply for exemption from the duties of the order under special circumstances.

4.11.4.5 Power of Detention

The Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 21A states:

  1. (1) This section and section 21B below apply during any control period in relation to a regulated football match outside the United Kingdom or an external tournament if a constable in uniform—

    1. (a) has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the condition in section 14B(2) above is met in the case of a person present before him, and

    2. (b) has reasonable grounds to believe that making a banning order in his case would help to prevent violence or disorder at or in connection with any regulated football matches.

  2. (2) The constable may detain the person in his custody (whether there or elsewhere) until he has decided whether or not to issue a notice under section 21B below, and shall give the person his reasons for detaining him in writing.

    This is without prejudice to any power of the constable apart from this section to arrest the person.

  3. (3) A person may not be detained under subsection (2) above for more than four hours or, with the authority of an officer of at least the rank of inspector, six hours.

Keynote

‘Control period’ means, in relation to a regulated football match outside the United Kingdom, the period:

  1. (a) beginning five days before the day of the match, and

  2. (b) ending when the match is finished or cancelled

and in relation to an external tournament, means any period described in an order made by the Secretary of State:

  1. (a) beginning five days before the day of the first football match outside the United Kingdom which is included in the tournament, and

  2. (b) ending when the last football match outside the United Kingdom which is included in the tournament is finished or cancelled,

but, for the purposes of para. (a), any football match included in the qualifying or pre-qualifying stages of the tournament is to be ignored (s. 14(5) and (6)). An example of a specified ‘control period’ is the Football Spectators (2018 World Cup Control Period) Order 2017 (SI 2017/1257), which commenced 10 days before the first match in the tournament, and ended when the last match in the tournament was finished or cancelled.

The power under s. 21A requires the police officer to be in uniform and may be exercised only in relation to a person who is a British citizen (see s. 21C(1)).

The initial period of detention allowed is a maximum of four hours, extendable to a further maximum of six hours by an inspector. There is no requirement under this section that the inspector be either present or in uniform. The purpose of the detention is for the officer to decide whether or not to issue a notice (see para. 4.11.4.6).

The condition under s. 14B(2) referred to is that the person has at any time caused or contributed to any violence or disorder in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

References to football matches include matches intended to be played (s. 14(7)). A person who has been detained under s. 21A(2) may only be further detained under that subsection in the same control period in reliance on information which was not available to the constable who previously detained him/her; and a person on whom a notice has been served under s. 21B(2) may not be detained under s. 21A(2) in the same control period (s. 21A(4)).

4.11.4.6 Service of Notice

The Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 21B states:

  1. (1) A constable in uniform may exercise the power in subsection (2) below if authorised to do so by an officer of at least the rank of inspector.

  2. (2) The constable may give the person a notice in writing requiring him—

    1. (a) to appear before a magistrates’ court at a time, or between the times, specified in the notice,

    2. (b) not to leave England and Wales before that time (or the later of those times), and

    3. (c) if the control period relates to a regulated football match outside the United Kingdom or to an external tournament which includes such matches, to surrender his passport to the constable and stating the grounds referred to in section 21A(1) above.

  3. (3) The times for appearance before the magistrates’ court must be within the period of 24 hours beginning with—

    1. (a) the giving of the notice, or

    2. (b) the person’s detention under section 21A(2) above, whichever is the earlier.

Keynote

The power applies during any control period in relation to a regulated football match outside England and Wales or an external tournament (as to which, see para. 4.11.4.5, Keynote).

A constable may arrest a person to whom he/she is giving a notice if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe that it is necessary to do so in order to ensure that the person complies with the notice (s. 21B(5)).

For the purposes of s. 14B, the notice is to be treated as an application for a banning order made by complaint (s. 21B(4)).

As with the provision for detention under s. 21A, the powers conferred by s. 21B may be exercised only in relation to a person who is a British citizen (s. 21C(1)).

4.11.4.7 Failure to Comply with Notice under Section 21B

Offence Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 21C

  • Triable summarily

  • Six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine

The Football Spectators Act 1989, s. 21C states:

  1. (2) A person who fails to comply with a notice given to him under section 21B above is guilty of an offence . . .

Keynote

The notice must have been lawfully given in order to attract liability for this offence. Where a person who has been given a notice appears before a magistrates’ court as required by the notice (whether under arrest or not), the court may remand him/her and the court may require the person not to leave England and Wales as a condition of bail (s. 21C(3) and (4)). Also, if the control period relates to a regulated football match outside the United Kingdom or to an external tournament which includes such matches, the court can order the person to surrender his/her passport to a police constable, if he/she has not already done so.

4.11.5 The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985

Offence Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 1

  • Triable summarily

  • Three months’ imprisonment and/or a fine (s. 1(3))

  • Fine (s. 1(2) and (4))

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 1 states:

  1. (1) This section applies to a vehicle which—

    1. (a) is a public service vehicle or railway passenger vehicle, and

    2. (b) is being used for the principal purpose of carrying passengers for the whole or part of a journey to or from a designated sporting event.

  2. (2) A person who knowingly causes or permits alcohol to be carried on a vehicle to which the section applies is guilty of an offence—

    1. (a) if the vehicle is a public service vehicle and he is the operator of the vehicle or the servant or agent of the operator, or

    2. (b) if the vehicle is a hired vehicle and he is the person to whom it is hired or the servant or agent of that person.

  3. (3) A person who has alcohol in his possession while on a vehicle to which this section applies is guilty of an offence.

  4. (4) A person who is drunk on a vehicle to which this section applies is guilty of an offence.

Keynote

Section 1 creates a number of offences in relation to public service vehicles and trains being used principally (though not exclusively) to carry passengers for the whole or part of a journey, to or from a designated sporting event.

The offences can be committed by the vehicle operator/hirer or his/her servant or agent provided there is evidence of knowingly causing or permitting the carrying of alcohol.

The other offences are committed by people who have alcohol in their ‘possession’ and by people who are drunk on a relevant vehicle. Generally, any mature and competent witness may give evidence as to drunkenness.

Section 7(3) provides a power for a police officer to stop a public service vehicle in order to search it where he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence under this section is being or has been committed in respect of that vehicle. It also provides a power to search a railway carriage (though not to stop the train) under the same circumstances. The power to search people in those vehicles comes from s. 7(2). The PACE Code of Practice for the Exercise by Police Officers of Statutory Powers of Stop and Search (Code A) (2014) (see para. 4.4.4) applies to searches under s. 7, i.e. searches of persons, coaches and trains at designated sports grounds or coaches and trains travelling to or from a designated sporting event.

Offence Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 1A

  • Triable summarily

  • Three months’ imprisonment and/or a fine (s. 1A(3))

  • Fine (s. 1A(2) and (4))

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 1A states:

  1. (1) This section applies to a motor vehicle which—

    1. (a) is not a public service vehicle but is adapted to carry more than 8 passengers, and

    2. (b) is being used for the principal purpose of carrying two or more passengers for the whole or part of a journey to or from a designated sporting event.

  2. (2) A person who knowingly causes or permits alcohol to be carried on a motor vehicle to which this section applies is guilty of an offence—

    1. (a) if he is its driver, or

    2. (b) if he is not its driver but is its keeper, the servant or agent of its keeper, a person to whom it is made available (by hire, loan or otherwise) by its keeper or the keeper's servant or agent, or the servant or agent of a person to whom it is so made available.

  3. (3) A person who has alcohol in his possession while on a motor vehicle to which this section applies is guilty of an offence.

  4. (4) A person who is drunk on a motor vehicle to which this section applies is guilty of an offence.

Keynote

This section creates similar offences to those set out under s. 1 but these relate to mechanically propelled vehicles that are intended or adapted for use on roads and that are adapted to carry more than eight passengers (not being PSVs).

For the purposes of the above offences, a vehicle's ‘keeper’ is the person having the duty to take out a vehicle excise licence for it (s. 1A(5)).

The power to stop and search vehicles and their occupants under s. 7(3) above also applies to an offence under this section.

4.11.6 Power to Prohibit Sale of Alcohol on Trains

The Licensing Act 2003, s. 157 states:

  1. (1) A magistrates’ court acting for a petty sessions area may make an order prohibiting the sale of alcohol, during such period as may be specified, on any railway vehicle—

    1. (a) at such station or stations as may be specified, being stations in that area, or

    2. (b) travelling between such stations as may be specified, at least one of which is in that area.

Keynote

Unlike some other aspects relating to the control of pre- and post-match events, there is no specific restriction on the period over which such an order may be made. However, the court cannot make such an order unless it is satisfied that the order is necessary to prevent disorder (s. 157(3)).

A court may only make an order under this section on the application of a senior police officer (s. 157(2)). ‘Senior police officer’ means a police officer of, or above, the rank of inspector (s. 157(7)).

Where an order is made, the police officer who applied for the order (or, if the chief officer of police of the force in question has designated another senior police officer for the purpose, that other officer) must immediately serve a copy of the order on the train operator (or each train operator) affected by the order (s. 157(4)).

Offence Licensing Act 2003, s. 157(5)

  • Triable summarily

  • Three months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £20,000

The Licensing Act 2003, s. 157 states:

  1. (5) A person commits an offence if he knowingly—

    1. (a) sells or attempts to sell alcohol in contravention of an order under this section, or

    2. (b) allows the sale of alcohol in contravention of such an order.

Keynote

The defendant must be shown to have acted knowingly, and proof that the order was properly made and in force so far as that date and location were concerned will be critical.

4.11.7 Designated Sports Grounds, Sporting Events and Related Offences

There are several offences associated with designated sports grounds and designated sporting events. Before examining these offences it is useful to examine what these terms mean.

4.11.7.1 Designated Sports Ground

Under s. 9 of the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, a ‘designated sports ground’ means:

  1. (2) . . . any place—

    1. (a) used (wholly or partly) for sporting events where accommodation is provided for spectators, and

    2. (b) for the time being designated, or of a class designated, by order made by the Secretary of State, and an order under this subsection may include provision for determining for the purposes of this Act the outer limit of any designated sports ground.

4.11.7.2 Designated Sporting Event

A ‘designated sporting event’ means an event or proposed event which has been designated or is part of a class designated by order made by the Secretary of State. It also includes events designated under comparable Scottish legislation. Events which are to be held outside Great Britain can also be designated (s. 9(3) of the 1985 Act).

4.11.7.3 Designated Sporting Event—Time Period

The period of a ‘designated sporting event’ is also covered by s. 9 of the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985:

  1. (4) The period of a designated sporting event is the period beginning two hours before the start of the event or (if earlier) two hours before the time at which it is advertised to start and ending one hour after the end of the event, but—

    1. (a) where an event advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day is postponed to a later day, the period includes the period in the day on which it is advertised to take place beginning two hours before and ending one hour after that time, and

    2. (b) where an event advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day does not take place, the period is the period referred to in paragraph (a) above.

Keynote

The Sports Grounds and Sporting Events (Designation) Order 2005 (SI 2005/3204) provides for the classes of sporting events for the purposes of the 1985 Act. These differ slightly from those contained in the Football Spectators Act 1989 and include:

  • Association football matches in which one or both of the participating teams represents a club which is for the time being a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference National Division, the Scottish Professional Football League, or Welsh Premier League, or represents a country or territory.

  • Association football matches in competition for the Football Association Cup (other than in a preliminary or qualifying round).

  • Association football matches at a sports ground outside England and Wales in which one or both of the participating teams represents a club which is for the time being a member (whether a full or associate member) of the Football League, the Football Association Premier League, the Football Conference National Division, the Scottish Professional Football League, or Welsh Premier League, or represents the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales.

4.11.7.4 Alcohol, Containers etc. at Sports Grounds

Offence Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 2

  • Triable summarily

  • Three months’ imprisonment and /or a fine (s. 2(1))

  • Fine (s. 2(2))

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 2 states:

  1. (1) A person who has alcohol or an article to which this section applies in his possession—

    1. (a) at any time during the period of a designated sporting event when he is in any area of a designated sports ground from which the event may be directly viewed, or

    2. (b) while entering or trying to enter a designated sports ground at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at that ground, is guilty of an offence.

  2. (2) A person who is drunk in a designated sports ground at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at that ground or is drunk while entering or trying to enter such a ground at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at that ground is guilty of an offence.

Keynote

The articles to which s. 2 applies are:

  • articles capable of causing injury to a person struck by them, being

  • bottles, cans or other portable containers (including ones that are crushed or broken), which

  • are for holding any drink, and

  • are of a kind which are normally discarded or returned to/left to be recovered by the supplier when empty

and include parts of those articles. Any such article that is for holding any medicinal product (within the meaning of the Medicines Act 1968) is excluded from this definition (s. 2(3)).

A constable may, at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at any designated sports ground, enter any part of the ground for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Act, and search a person he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect is committing or has committed an offence under this Act, and may arrest such a person (s. 7(1) and (2)).

Where a person is convicted of an offence under either s. 2(1) or (2) the court must consider imposing a banning order.

4.11.7.5 Fireworks, Flares and Similar Objects at Sports Grounds and Events

Offence Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 2A

  • Triable summarily

  • Three months’ imprisonment and/or a fine

The Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985, s. 2A states:

  1. (1) A person is guilty of an offence if he has an article or substance to which this section applies in his possession—

    1. (a) at any time during the period of a designated sporting event when he is in any area of a designated sports ground from which the event may be directly viewed, or

    2. (b) while entering or trying to enter a designated sports ground at any time during the period of a designated sporting event at the ground.

  2. (2)

  3. (3) This section applies to any article or substance whose main purpose is the emission of a flare for purposes of illuminating or signalling (as opposed to igniting or heating) or the emission of smoke or a visible gas; and in particular it applies to distress flares, fog signals, and pellets and capsules intended to be used as fumigators or for testing pipes, but not to matches, cigarette lighters or heaters.

  4. (4) This section also applies to any article which is a firework.

Keynote

There is a defence under s. 2A(2) for the person to prove that he/she had possession of the article or substance with lawful authority. ‘Possession’ is quite a broad concept going beyond ‘carrying’.

As with the offence under s. 2 (see para. 4.11.7.4), the powers of entry, search and arrest under s. 7 also apply to this offence.

4.11.8 Ticket Touts

Offence Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s. 166

  • Triable summarily

  • Fine

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, s. 166 states:

  1. (1) It is an offence for an unauthorised person to—

    1. (a) sell a ticket for a designated football match, or

    2. (b) otherwise to dispose of such a ticket to another person.

  2. (2) For this purpose—

    1. (a) a person is ‘unauthorised’ unless he is authorised in writing to sell or otherwise dispose of tickets for the match by the organisers of the match;

    2. (aa) a reference to selling a ticket includes a reference to—

      1. (i) offering to sell a ticket;

      2. (ii) exposing a ticket for sale;

      3. (iii) making a ticket available for sale by another;

      4. (iv) advertising that a ticket is available for purchase; and

      5. (v) giving a ticket to a person who pays or agrees to pay for some other goods or services or offering to do so;

    3. (b) a ‘ticket’ means anything which purports to be a ticket; and

    4. (c) a ‘designated football match’ means a football match of a description, or a particular football match, for the time being designated for the purposes of this section by order made by the Secretary of State.

Keynote

Section 32 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (search of persons and premises (including vehicles) upon arrest) shall have effect, in its application in relation to an offence under this section, as if the power conferred on a constable to enter and search any vehicle extended to any vehicle which the constable has reasonable grounds for believing was being used for any purpose connected with the offence (s. 166(5)).

Section 166A is designed to ensure that the offence in s. 166 is compatible with European Directive 2000/31/EC. It ensures that the provisions in s. 166 do not apply to internet service providers based outside the United Kingdom, but makes it an offence for an internet service provider established in the United Kingdom to sell or otherwise dispose of tickets for designated football matches regardless of where the sale etc., takes place.

For the purposes of s. 166(2)(c) a ‘designated football match’ is currently described in the Ticket Touting (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2007 (SI 2007/790). Article 2 of the Order designates association football matches in England and Wales in which one or both participating teams represent a club which is a member of the Football League, Football Association Premier League, Football Conference or League of Wales, or represents a country or territory. Article 2(3) designates association football matches outside England and Wales involving a national team of England or Wales, or a team representing a club which is a member of the Football League, Football Association Premier League, Football Conference or League of Wales, or matches in competitions or tournaments organised by or under the authority of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) or UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football), in which any of such English or Welsh domestic or national teams is eligible to participate or has participated.