Crackdown launched on tragedy chanting as fans warned they risk Euro 2024 ban

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Liverpool fans have been targeted by rival supporters in the past (Image: Getty Images)
Liverpool fans have been targeted by rival supporters in the past (Image: Getty Images)

Football fans will be banned from attending Euro 2024 if they are caught mocking previous tragedies in the sport, such as the Hillsborough disaster.

The Crown Prosecution Service have announced they have launched a crackdown on 'tragedy chanting', publishing fresh guidance on Monday. Tragedy chanting, including about the Hillsborough disaster or the Munich Air Crash, has become increasingly prevalent in English football.

But now the CPS has confirmed to Mirror Football that authorities are set to take a firmer stance against those found singing such chants. They have been handed a fresh range of sanctions to take against offenders after the CPS confirmed tragedy chanting as a public order offence.

In a statement to Mirror Football, the CPS confirmed that it had published fresh guidance on the issue. And fans can now be handed football banning orders, including from next year's Euros, if they are caught tragedy chanting.

The statement read: "The CPS has updated its prosecution guidance on football related offences which reconfirms that tragedy-related abuse can be prosecuted as a public order offence.

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"The guidance, which assists prosecutors when making legal decisions on cases, set out how lawyers can apply for Football Banning Orders which not only stop fans attending matches, but also can impose other restrictions, such as not being able to travel to certain areas, or be allowed in pubs at game time and travel during tournament times.

"Tragedy-related abuse is when fans sing, chant or gesture offensive messages about disasters or accidents involving players or fans. This can have a devastating impact on the bereaved and their communities.

Crackdown launched on tragedy chanting as fans warned they risk Euro 2024 banFans could be banned from Euro 2024 for tragedy chanting (Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"Sport is for everyone to enjoy, and this type of behaviour jeopardises that. The guidance also includes reference to other hate crimes, such as homophobic or racist chanting or gestures, and pitch incursion."

The CPS is now working with the police, clubs, player bodies and leagues throughout the football pyramid to explain to football fans how the consequences of committing this "abhorrent behaviour", which is now a criminal act.

The new stance has been welcomed by figures throughout football, with the CPS' lead prosecutor for sport, Douglas Mackay, adamant that a fresh crackdown needed to be launched.

He said: “A small minority of so-called fans are both damaging the reputation of the sport and more importantly this offending has a devastating impact on the families of victims of tragedies and the communities connected closely to these events.

“This updated guidance sends the clear message that this vile behaviour will not be tolerated. We want supporters to passionately enjoy our national sport without crossing the line into criminality."

The FA's chief executive Mark Bullingham added: "Tragedy related abuse is completely unacceptable and has no place in our game.

"This behaviour is highly offensive and can have a lasting effect on the families, friends and communities who have been devastatingly impacted by these events. We welcome the new guidance from the CPS to tackle incidents of this nature."

Jacob Leeks

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