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Bristol Post
Bristol Post
Mariam Khan

Bristol Rovers and Forest Green fans banned and fined after major pitch invasion

Eight football fans have been slapped with a football banning order which collectively adds up to more than 30 years following a pitch invasion after the game between Bristol Rovers and Forest Green last season. Five men and one woman who had been sat among Bristol Rovers supporters and two men who were among the away fans during the game have been sentenced, with the final hearing held at Bristol Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The courts sentenced the eight people to football banning orders totalling 33 years and fines totalling £3,250. One man was also jailed for 10 weeks.

The bans come after both home and away fans invaded the pitch at Memorial Stadium pitch after the draw between Bristol Rovers and Forest Green last season which saw the away side clinch promotion.

Read next: Bristol Rovers release statement after pitch invasion following Forest Green Rovers draw

The two clubs met at The Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 23. Avon and Somerset Police said: “After the full-time whistle was blown fans from both sides ran onto the pitch and aggressively confronting one another.

"Avon and Somerset Police’s football unit carried out an investigation, supported by bother clubs which led to identifying those who had committed offences including pitch encroachment, possessing a flare and public order matters.

"A further three people were also dealt with by police for offences at the same match and were dealt with 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. It means they will be prohibited from attending club and international matches for the duration of the order, but also may include exclusion zones around stadia before and after home fixtures, plus a day-long ban on travel to towns and cities where away matches are being played.

During the World Cup, those with football banning orders have also been required to surrender their passport to prevent them from attending the ongoing the tournament 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.”

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