Football banning orders are a preventative measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from travelling to football matches - both at home and abroad.
Of the millions of fans who annually attend football games, only a very small minority actually cause problems. But those that do are a threat to public safety and to our reputation overseas, so we are committed to stopping this behaviour.
How they work
Banning orders are issued by the courts following a conviction of a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force. For an order to be issued, it must be proved that the accused person has caused or contributed to football-related violence or disorder and that an order will prevent them from misbehaving further.
Orders are not imposed on people solely on the basis of minor convictions such as alcohol offences, or similar misdemeanours.
They can last between three and ten years and can be customised to address individual behaviour patterns. Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by a maximum sentence of six months in prison (however this is extremely rare).
Banning orders are extremely successful. The vast majority of people who commit football disorder are genuine and passionate football supporters. The orders work because they stop fans from doing the thing they love most – attending a football match. By the time their order expires, their behaviour has usually transformed. In 92 per cent of cases, the person is felt by the police to no longer pose a risk.
Statistics on arrests and banning orders
Each autumn we publish statistics on the number of arrests and banning orders issued during the previous football season. The latest statistics are available below.
Also available on The National Archives website (new window) are the statistics for the previous three seasons, along with other information published prior to 7 May 2010.
(Links will open in a new window)
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office - South Africa travel advice
- Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
- The Football Association (FA)
We are not responsible for the content of external websites.