Scots among 100 teenage football fans banned from matches

A steward removes a smoke canister from the pitch at Stair Park during a Stranraer V Celtic cup tie. Picture: SNS Group
A steward removes a smoke canister from the pitch at Stair Park during a Stranraer V Celtic cup tie. Picture: SNS Group
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Teenage supporters of leading Scottish clubs are among more than 100 under-18s across the UK given Football Banning Orders, new figures show.

Thirteen fans under the age of 18 were banned from matches in Scotland during the past three years, according to police statistics.

If 14, 15, 16-year-olds are getting banning orders, that should be the last resort, not the first

Amanda Jacks

They supported Celtic, Dundee United, Dunfermline, Hamilton, Hearts, Hibs, Motherwell and Rangers

The figures indicate a lack of consistency across the UK, with one major force having no teenagers on an FBO, while another smaller force barred 43 youngsters from matches.

The statistics, revealed in Freedom of Information requests, showed more than 100 under 18s received an FBO in the three years up to March this year.

The youngest was a 12-year-old, banned following widespread disorder in Newcastle city centre after Newcastle United were beaten 3-0 at home by arch rivals Sunderland in April 2013.

Northumbria Police said the boy threw missiles at opposition fans and was abusive.

Dr Geoff Pearson, a senior law lecturer at Manchester University, said there were “huge discrepancies” between forces about how they used the Football Banning Order legislation.

He said in Europe, fans groups and clubs ran education programmes for youngsters encouraging them to keep out of trouble.

Amanda Jacks, a case worker with the Football Supporters’ Federation, said young people should be steered away from trouble before banning orders and the criminal justice system were considered.

She said: “There’s no doubt that there is a glamorisation of football disorder and kids are attracted to it for the wrong reason. There does need to be some consistency – if 14, 15, 16-year-olds are getting banning orders, that should be the last resort, not the first.”

The figures also showed there were more than 120 over 50s, including a 60-year-old Arsenal fan and a man of 64 in the Lancashire Police area, who have been banned from attending games in the last three years.