The United Kingdom’s Home Office has announced that more than 1,300 football fans from England and Wales who are subject to travel bans would be denied permission to attend this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The new regulations, which are set to take effect on Friday, will bar fans who have a history of violence linked to football from making the journey to the sport’s showcase event, which will begin on November 20 and continue until December 18. This tournament will begin in Russia.
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“We will not allow the behaviour of a minority of lawbreakers spoil what will be a wonderful tournament,” said Home Secretary Suella Braverman. “We will not let them stain what will be an entertaining tournament.”
The last campaign in English football saw a significant increase in the number of field invasions and crowd disturbances around the country. As a result, the Premier League has implemented additional safety measures to minimise misbehaviour ahead of the current campaign.
The Home Office issued a warning that spectators who disobeyed the restrictions may face a jail sentence of up to six months and an infinite fine.
Travel restrictions will also be imposed on anybody who has “already created disturbance and is regarded likely to do so again.”
“Violence, abuse, and disruption are not accepted here, and same illegal behaviour will not be tolerated during the World Cup,” stressed Braverman. “This is why we are taking such a hard stance.