Premier League has taken action against the burgeoning trend of pitch invasions by introducing stricter punishments for those guilty of the offense.
Under the new guidelines, the use of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs will also be prohibited.
According to the Football Association, from the start of the new season “all identified offenders will be reported by clubs to the police and prosecution could result in a permanent criminal record, which may affect their employment and education, and could result in a prison sentence.
The statement read: “Furthermore, anyone who enters the pitch and those identified carrying or using pyrotechnics or smoke bombs will now receive an automatic club ban. These bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in these activities.”
The league will also censor videos of pitch invasions while it will formally ask the UK government to reform regulations and restrict the supply of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs.
Football Supporters Association (FSA) is backing the move by Premier League to impose sanctions to curb pitch invasions which can lead to bodily harm in extreme cases.
“We are contacted by supporters on a fairly regular basis who have been caught jumping on the pitch, or with pyro in the stands, and without exception, they regret doing it,” FSA head Kevin Miles said.
Smoke bombs, pyrotechnics, and minacious atmospheres are a staple of games in continental Europe and elsewhere in the world but were a rarity in England but their use has become a more regular occurrence, especially during the last season.
Several altercations took place on the fields including one involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira when Everton survived relegation, while Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp was attacked by a fan after a playoff defeat at Nottingham Forest.
Man City’s fan’s also stormed the pitch to celebrate winning the title last season which resulted in broken goalposts.