Police seize passports ahead of the World Cup

Gazette Series: Football banning orders can arise from match disorder or incidents watching football on tv Football banning orders can arise from match disorder or incidents watching football on tv

POLICE are seizing passports from people with football banning orders (FBOs) ahead of the start of the World Cup in Brazil.

About 70 people who have FBOs in the Avon and Somerset Police force area are required to hand in their passports before the deadline dates of Monday, June 2 and Tuesday, June 3.

A number of people across South Gloucestershire have been slapped with the orders and will have to surrender their passports.

They are not allowed to travel to England matches in this country or travel when the team is playing abroad.

Currently 95 people have FBOs in the Avon and Somerset force area, but not all have passports and some have been given exemption to travel.

Anyone that has failed to return their passport by Wednesday, June 4 - the day of England’s opening warm-up game in Miami for the World Cup – can expect a visit from police, where failure to comply could result in re-arrest.

Passports will be handed back when England has finished its involvement in the competition. Police stressed that FBOs are not just issued as a result of incidents at football matches and can cover other types of football-related disorder, such as antisocial behaviour while watching a match in a pub.

The orders prevent attendance at any regulated match for a period of between three and five years – if the individual is not subjected to a custodial sentence.

For those who are imprisoned, the banning order extends to a period of between six and 10 years. Other conditions requested on a FBO may include exclusion zones around stadia before and after home fixtures, plus a day-long ban on travel to towns and cities, where away matches are being played.

Chief Inspector Jeff Foreman said the force was rolling out well-rehearsed plans for the World Cup.

“We hope that it will be a successful and enjoyable tournament for fans,” he said. ““However we will not tolerate and football-related anti-social behaviour or violence, whether out in the community or behind closed doors at home and will deal robustly with such problems.

“We have demonstrated during two disorder incidents during the past eight months that we will not tolerate football disorder and hooliganism in Avon and Somerset.”

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