Fans warned about pyrotechnics at matches
Portsmouth Football Club have warned any fan found to be in possession of a flare, firework or smoke canister in or around a football stadium will be banned from Fratton Park indefinitely and face criminal charges.
The offence also carries a possible prison sentence and a three-year football banning order as a minimum.
In the most serious cases, fans and players have been badly injured by their use, including head wounds and severe burns.
The Pompey Supporters’ Trust have also backed the stance and Blues manager Paul Cook has reinforced the message, saying their continued use could disrupt the club’s gathering promotion push.
His message comes after a smoke canister landed in the Dagenham & Redbridge goalmouth on Saturday after Michael Doyle’s equaliser. It held the game up for a couple of minutes as it was dealt with.
Paul said: “When I saw the smoke in the goalmouth after the goal, the team and I were annoyed and frustrated.
“We had just put Dagenham on the ropes and we wanted us to get back into them as soon as possible.
“Instead vital momentum was potentially lost and it could have cost us a vital three points. It has to stop, and stop now.”
Trust chair Ashley Brown added: “Thankfully we managed to get the win in the end on Saturday and no-one was hurt, but if this sort of behaviour continues the club will be subject to heavy fines or potentially even receive supporter or points related sanctions.
“The people who throw these, or in fact anything else at matches, are causing significant damage to the club they claim to support.”
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin revealed the club have been reported to the Football Association over a number of incidents involving explosive devices this season.
He said: “Our security team liaise constantly with other clubs and the police. Other Pompey fans have already been in touch with the club providing information on this incident.
“The fans who did this will be caught, of that I am in no doubt, and when they are they will be banned. The club will also support a criminal prosecution of those identified.”