Criminalising football fans

Thursday 30 October, 19.00 until 21.00, Doggett's Coat and Badge, 1 Blackfriars Bridge, London, SE1 9UD UK Satellite Events 2014

Tickets: £5 (Purchase)

NB: We will not send tickets out to people, but names will be on a list at the door. Please bring your payment email as confirmation.

Football supporters going to see their teams play can experience a degree of regulation and control that few others encounter, outside of an airport.

From “bubble matches” forcing visiting fans to travel in designated coaches leaving from their own club’s stadium, to Football Banning Orders for fans who’ve never been convicted of a crime, to Section 27 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act which allows police to remove someone from a particular area - even if no offence has been committed, fans seem to be singled out, particularly those who follow their side away from home.

Despite this, fans rarely feature in civil liberty campaigns. So is it time to stand up for football fans’ freedom of movement, speech, and fair treatment under the law? Or are these measures necessary to prevent a return to the “bad old days”? Are fans singled out because of prejudices relating to football’s working class roots? What can be done to allow the law-abiding majority to enjoy their sport, without being made to feel like criminals?

Duleep Allirajah
sports columnist, spiked; Crystal Palace fan

Martin Cloake
writer and editor; author, Taking Our Ball Back: English Football’s Culture Wars

Geoff Pearson
senior lecturer in sports management and law, University of Liverpool

Peter Lloyd
freelance journalist; author, Stand By Your Manhood

Produced by
Peter Lloyd freelance journalist; author, Stand By Your Manhood

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