UK Home Office bans 1200 fans from going to Russia for World Cup


More than 1,200 Britons with a history of football-related violence or disorder have been blocked from going to the World Cup in Russia after having their passports seized.

The Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA), part of the Home Office, has ordered 1,312 individuals subject to banning orders who hold a passport to surrender the document to police.

The latest figures, released a day before the opening match of the 2018 World Cup tournament and five days before England’s first match against Tunisia, show that police forces in England and Wales have accounted for 1,254 passports.

Police are to attempt to locate the remaining passport-holders during the tournament and will hold on to confiscated documents until the final on 15 July.

Mark Roberts, a deputy chief constable and the national lead for football policing, said: “Ahead of the World Cup, a comprehensive policing operation has been in place across the country to account for passports of those on banning orders, which has once again seen only a handful of those outstanding.

“The legislation used for banning orders is the most effective of its kind, and affords us the ability to ensure the vast majority of England supporters travelling to Russia are genuine fans who simply want to enjoy the tournament.”

Forces throughout England and Wales have carried out enforcement action against banned individuals who failed to surrender their passports.

Football-related arrests have fallen to record low since the introduction of football banning orders in 2000.

The orders are imposed by courts and can last for up to 10 years. Breaching one is a criminal offence and can result in a fine of up to £5,000 and a six-month prison sentence.

In addition to the banning orders, police will be deployed at major UK ports during the World Cup to stop known troublemakers from travelling to Russia before and during the tournament.

A UK policing delegation is to travel to Russia, at the host country’s request, to assist Russian counterparts with policing the tournament. About 10,000 people are expected to travel from the UK to Russia to attend the World Cup.

Nick Hurd, the policing minister, said: “The World Cup is a festival of football and is no place for violence or disorder. The UK’s system of football banning orders is unique and means that people intent on causing trouble in Russia will instead be staying at home.”



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