Campaign warns fans over flares

first_imgA new campaign is being launched to warn of the dangers of fans using flares and smoke bombs after it was revealed children as young as eight have been used as ‘mules’ to smuggle pyrotechnic devices into football grounds. “This campaign clearly sets out the dangers of flares and smoke bombs. I want to see the courts taking this problem seriously and dealing in the strongest way possible with fans who still illegally smuggle pyrotechnics into football grounds.” Nine people have been injured or burned by fireworks thrown at grounds in England in the last 18 months. Last month a Manchester United fan who set off a smoke bomb during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge, against West Brom, was given a suspended two-month jail term and banned from any football grounds for three years. In February, two Chelsea fans were jailed for 28 days and given six-year football banning orders for taking smoke bombs into the Liberty Stadium for a match versus Swansea. Fans will be reminded that fireworks are illegal at matches, carrying the risk of possible jail sentences, and warned of the dangers – last season a 15-year-old boy suffered lung damage from a smoke bomb thrown at Wigan, while in February a 14-year-old boy was killed by a flare thrown by fans during a South American Libertadores Cup match in Bolivia. The Premier League said in a statement: “A disturbing element of increased pyrotechnics has been the involvement of children. “It is not uncommon for ‘mules’ to bring the pyrotechnics into a ground on behalf of others, and in one incident at a Premier League match last season a child aged around eight was observed aiding those involved in pyrotechnic use. “The child came into the ground with pyrotechnics in his rucksack and was then seen passing them to members of an adult group who let them off inside the ground.” New research has found that one third of fans have been affected by pyrotechnics, 87 per cent believe they are dangerous and 78 per cent say they want more action taken against users. Fireworks have always been viewed as a European phenomenon but they have become a growing problem in English football with eight incidents in the 2010/11 season, 72 in 2011/12 and so far this season 96 incidents. Policing minister Damian Green said: “Football fans might see images of football grounds in other parts of Europe full of smoke and light caused by pyrotechnic devices and think that they create a good atmosphere – but they do not. “Flares are very dangerous and can cause severe injuries. We are very lucky that no one has been seriously injured or killed by a flare here for a long time. The campaign by the Premier League, Football League and the FA comes after a growth in the number of incidents – including a linesman being struck by a firework at Aston Villa in October. Concerns have intensified after CCTV at one Premier League ground caught a young boy handing out fireworks to adults from his rucksack. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Super Eagles Train for Penalty Shoot out against Indomitable Lions

first_imgWith the destiny of each team tied to its performance and mother luck at this stage of the AFCON 2019 tournament, Super Eagles have started perfecting the act of penalty kicks in case the match on Saturday ends in deadlock.Camp source disclosed to THISDAY moments after the last group stage match on Sunday and knowing fully well that qualification into the next phase is guaranteed inspite the 0-2 loss to Madagascar.Although media men and fans were locked out of the greater part of the team’s training session, it was gathered that all the players were made to go through the penalty kick session. It was also learnt that many of the players have been scoring their kicks after initial missing the targets.“When we started, we were able to achieve 65 percent hit on target three percent against the post and the rest were outright misses but now the percentage has improved to 92, meaning going into shootout in Saturday’s match should be positive to the team if all the selected players are in their right frame of minds towards the kick,” an official of the team disclose yesterday.The official was unable to ascertain if any of the three goalkeepers could be the option should it be clear that the match will go into shoot out.“At random, I cannot ascertain whom among the three goalkeepers is our best bet for the match if it goes into shoot outs. All the three have their shares of stopping the kicks with no clear dominance of any of them.“I do not think there can be a late substitute to accommodate a particular goalkeeper that may be good at stopping the penalty kicks of the encounter if the game is to be decided on shoot out,” the camp source explained further.Nigeria lost 2-4 on penalties to Cameroon at the National Stadium in Lagos in the final match of 2000 tournament in Lagos in which Nwankwo Kanu lost his kick while Victor Ikpeba was controversially counted as a miss after the ball had crossed the line but the referee misjudged that it was not a legal goal.Nigeria edged past Zambia in a quarterfinal match in 2010 but had lost to host, Tunisia in 2004 .The Saturday encounter marks Cameroon’s 84th match, even though the Lions have made two more appearances than Nigeria’s 18th at the Egypt 2019 edition.Both Nigeria and Cameroon led their respective Egypt 2019 groups until their last matches. While Nigeria surrendered Group B leadership to Madagascar on Sunday, Cameroon on Tuesday also failed to live up to expectations and were held to a goalless draw by low rated Benin Republic thus surrendering Group F leadership to rivals, Ghana.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Super Eagles last_img read more

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