As Guy Fawkes celebrations get underway this weekend, the EFL and its 72 member Clubs are again alerting supporters to the dangers surrounding the use of pyrotechnics within football grounds.
A full schedule of fixtures across the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One and Sky Bet League Two are set to take place this weekend ahead of 'Bonfire Night'.
Any instances of pyrotechnics use means innocent parties may be at risk of serious injury as a result.
Prior to Monday 5th November, the EFL is re-launching its commitment to tackle the use of pyrotechnics, which includes smoke bombs, flares and fireworks within EFL football grounds. This was initially launched in November 2017 that saw all 72 Clubs sign up to a new Club Charter on Pyrotechnics.
Since the Charter was signed EFL Clubs have been taking strong and decisive action against any fans found attempting to bring a banned item into a ground, or those who discharge pyrotechnics.
Any supporter that has been, or found to be, in breach of the terms of the Charter is subject to a minimum three-season Club ban. A number of Club bans have already been issued since the launch of the Charter, including an increase in Club bans for away supporters due to the ongoing co-operation between EFL Clubs.
Clubs are permitted the flexibility to reduce the length of the Club ban should an offender recognise the danger of their actions, although the overall safety of supporters is paramount.
- Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device (flare, smoke bomb or firework) at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence under the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.
- Flares are used for marine distress and are designed not to be extinguished easily or quickly. They contain chemicals and burn at temperatures of 1600°C, the melting point of steel.
- Smoke Bombs burn at high temperatures and are designed to be used in wide open spaces. They are dangerous for those with asthma or breathing difficulties and can cause panic in a tightly packed crowd.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of injuries, at grounds around the country, as a result of pyrotechnics use over recent seasons; fans have been treated for shrapnel wounds and burns, a
15-year-old boy suffered lung damage from a smoke bomb thrown during a game, anassistant referee was struck by a lit smoke canister thrown from the stand and
a steward placed his foot on a device to prevent further smoke escaping but it burned through the sole of his shoe causing injury.
Reading Football Club would like to thank all supporters, home and away, for their ongoing cooperation in this matter, so we can all enjoy the game in safety.