FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
British authorities have banned over 1,300 “violent and abusive” football fans in England and Wales from travelling to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Taking effect this Friday, the regulations will restrict 1,308 people with a history of football-related violence or disorder from leaving the country or traveling to nearby nations where they could commute to the games. The banned individuals have been ordered to surrender their passports from Friday.
The Home Office said those who fail to hand over their passport and attempt to travel to the tournament could face six months in prison and an unlimited fine.
Fans banned from football in England and Wales, along with any supporter who has “previously caused trouble and is deemed likely to do so again” will be prevented from travelling to the region from 10 days before the World Cup starts on 20 November until the tournament’s conclusion a week before Christmas.
UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman on the new measures:
“We are all looking forward to cheering England and Wales on in Qatar and we will not let the behaviour of a minority of lawbreakers tarnish what will be an exciting tournament,” said Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
“Violence, abuse and disorder is not tolerated here, and this criminal behaviour will not be tolerated at the World Cup which is why we are taking this firm approach”.
A big thank you to our friends at @DubaiPoliceHQ for sharing with us their impressive planning and preparation for the upcoming @FIFAWorldCup 2022.— UKinUAE ???? (@ukinuae) October 7, 2022
Working together we can ensure that @England & @FAWales fans in the #UAE can safely enjoy the beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/kD6Lvn63w6
In addition, the UK Home Office also said preventative measures were placed in previous international tournaments, with the 2018 World Cup achieving 99 percent compliance, which also required people with football banning orders to surrender their passports.
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The enforcement comes as a drastic surge in disorder and “pitch invasions” saw an approximately 60% increase in football-related arrests last season in comparison to the last full year before the Covid-19 pandemic.
British embassy officials said meetings have taken place with Dubai Police to ensure that fans staying in the UAE during the FIFA World Cup 2022 were updated with the latest safety guidance.