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Football fans taking cocaine at matches could face five-year bans

Football fans who are convicted of selling or taking Class A drugs, such as cocaine, could face a five-year stadium ban under new rules announced by the government on Thursday.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse also revealed that convicted fans could be forced to hand in their passports if their team plays abroad.

Crowd violence at last summer’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley was blamed on widespread drug-use.

Last summer, a survey by the University of Oxford and University of Kent revealed that more than 30 per cent of fans had witnessed cocaine being taken inside a football stadium, with six per cent admitting to personal cocaine use.

The UK’s football policing lead, chief constable Mark Roberts, told The Athletic in November that small-scale research this season revealed cocaine was detected when swabbing “100 per cent” of toilet cubicles in one section of a Premier League ground.

Reacting to the new laws, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Middle-class coke heads should stop kidding themselves, their habit is feeding a war on our streets driving misery and crime across our country and beyond.

“That’s why we are stepping up our efforts to make sure those who break the law face the full consequences — because taking illegal drugs is never a victimless crime.”

Malthouse added: “It’s been a thrilling football season, but at some games we’ve seen ugly violence that that has shocked all the leagues.

“More and more the police are finding Class A drugs at the heart of that disorder, and so we must act. The football family wants every ground to be a safe space for fans, especially children, and so do we.

“Football banning orders have been a gamechanger in rooting out racism and violence at football, and now we want them to do the same for drug-related disorder.”

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