Home Office ban 1,300 ‘England and Wales’ fans from Qatar – but won’t provide breakdown by country
The UK Home Office has banned 1,300 ‘England and Wales’ fans from travelling to Qatar for the World Cup – but won’t provide a breakdown by country.
The figure is only slightly higher than the 1,200 banned from Russia in 2018, despite Wales not being present at that tournament.
It is also fewer than the 2,200 England supporters were banned from the 2014 tournament in Brazil, while about 3,200 were stopped from travelling to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.
The Home Office said they would be stopping “any supporter who has previously caused trouble and is deemed likely to do so again” from travelling to the tournament in Qatar starting from 10 days before the tournament begins on November 20 until its end on December 18.
“We will not let the behaviour of a minority of lawbreakers tarnish what will be an exciting tournament,” said Home Secretary Suella Braverman.
The measures follow a drastic rise in fans’ unruly behaviour and pitch invasions in England, with football-related arrests rising by nearly 60 percent last season compared with the last full year before the pandemic.
The Home Office added that police will also be able to stop previous offenders judged likely to cause trouble from travelling to the Gulf.
As part of a targeted operation at ports, if such people are caught attempting to reach Qatar, they will face a court hearing for a football banning order within 24 hours.
Wales will kick off their tournament against USA on 21 November, a day after the World Cup opens with Qatar vs Ecuador.
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