World News



British Queen celebrates


The Home Office has released figures indicating that the number of arrests related to football matches in England and Wales has reached a nine-year peak. This data covers the 2022-23

season and reveals 2,264 football-related arrests, marking the highest count since 2013-14 and a rise of 66 compared to the previous season.

These statistics encompass arrests at women's matches, incidents during overseas matches, and arrests for the possession of Class A drugs, which are included for the first time. The possession of Class A drugs accounted for an additional 200 arrests during the 2022-23 season. Additionally, there were 101 arrests in England and Wales linked to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Notably, there were no arrests associated with this year's Women's World Cup.

The past season also saw the issuance of 682 new football banning orders, representing a 32% increase compared to the 2021-22 campaign. This is the highest number of banning orders issued since the 2010-11 season when 960 such orders were imposed. On August 1, 2023, a total of 1,624 football banning orders were in effect, with 1,618 issued to men and 1,133 to individuals aged 18 to 34.

Manchester United supporters held the most banning orders, with 69, followed by Millwall with 66. West Ham had the highest number of supporters arrested, totaling 89, marking the second consecutive year in which they topped this category. West Ham has asserted that they have enhanced and robust matchday systems and attribute the increased number of bans for certain offenses to their proactive tactics.

Despite the overall rise in arrests, the Home Office reported a 6% decrease (-93 matches) in the number of matches with reported incidents compared to the 2021-22 season. Arrests for pitch invasions decreased from 313 to 147.

While the number of arrests reached its highest point in nine years, it does not represent an all-time peak. There were nine more arrests in the 2013-14 season than in 2022-23. For context, the 2010-11 season recorded a total of 3,089 football-related arrests.

Several high-profile incidents during the 2022-23 season included a Tottenham fan receiving a four-year football banning order for kicking Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after a North London derby in January. In the same month, a 15-year-old girl was scarred for life when struck on the head with a pint glass filled with coins during Manchester City's Carabao Cup tie with Liverpool. Additionally, a Leeds United fan who ran onto the field to confront Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe in May was sentenced to three months in jail and banned from attending all matches for six years.

These statistics reflect a concerning level of disorder at football matches, prompting discussions on strategies to address such incidents and ensure a safer environment for fans and players alike. Photo by Flickr user: leedsyorkshire, Wikimedia commons.