The Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill [Bill 31 2023-24] is a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Kevin Brennan MP (Labour). During the second reading debate on 23 February 2024, Tom Tugendhat, the Security Minister, said the Bill had Government support.

What would the Bill do?

The Bill would create a new offence of unauthorised entry to designated football matches in England and Wales. The offence would also cover attempts to gain unauthorised entry.

The new offence would be within the Football (Offences) Act 1991. A court would therefore be able to impose a football banning order against a person convicted of the offence.

The offence would apply in England and Wales only.

Background to the Bill

The Casey review, published in December 2021, examined the disorder surrounding the UEFA Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium. The review found, among other things, that “sanctions for those breaking into football stadiums and/ or recklessly endangering lives is weak”. It recommended that “tailgating” should become a criminal offence. 

Kevin Brennan introduced the Unauthorised Entry to Football Matches Bill on 6 December 2023. The Culture, Media and Sport Committee welcomed the Bill in its  report on Safety at Major Sporting Events (PDF)(HC 164, 29 December 2023). The Committee recommended that the Government take “all steps possible” to ensure the Bill’s passage during the current parliamentary session.

The Home Office has published Explanatory Notes (PDF) to the Bill that give further policy background as well as commentary on the Bill’s clauses. An Impact Assessment has also been published.

What are designated football matches?

Under the Football (Offences) (Designation of Football Matches) Order 2004,  “designated football matches” are matches that involve one or more teams that compete in the top five tiers of men’s domestic football competition, the top two tiers of women’s domestic football competition, the top tier of Welsh men’s football competition, or that represent a country or territory.

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