Eight football supporters have been banned for combined more than 30 years after pleading guilty to offences committed after a Bristol Rovers v Forest Green Rovers promotion clash, last season. Six Bristol Rovers fans - five men and a woman - as well as two Forest Green supports confronted each other on the pitch following a 0-0 draw at the Memorial Stadium, on April 23.
Avon and Somerset Police’s football unit carried out an investigation, with the support of both clubs, to identify those who committed the offences which include pitch encroachment, possessing a flare and public order matters.
The eight offenders were sentenced at Bristol Magistrates’ Court to football banning orders totalling 33 years and fines amounting to £3,250, yesterday (November 24). One man was also jailed for 10 weeks. A further three people were also dealt with by police for offences at the same match out of court either by conditional caution or through signing an acceptable behaviour contract.
Each of the eight defendants received a football banning order, ranging from three to 10 years in length. The order prohibits them from attending club and international matches for the duration of the order, but also may include exclusion zones around football grounds before and after home fixtures, plus a day-long ban on travel to towns and cities where away matches are being played.
Those handed a football banning orders are also required to surrender their passport to prevent them from attending the ongoing men’s World Cup in Qatar.
Force Football Officer PC Tom Williams said: “The behaviour at the full-time whistle from a small minority of fans was unacceptable and we are grateful to both Bristol Rovers and Forest Green Rovers for their help in identifying those people responsible.
“The football banning orders send a clear message that disorder at matches cannot, and will not, be tolerated. These eight people now find themselves banned from going to football matches for several years as a consequence of their behaviour.”