Arrests during soccer matches in England and Wales have reportedly reached a nine-year high. According to United Kingdom government officials, there were 2,264 total soccer-related arrests during the 2022/23 season. This was a slight increase over the previous campaign and the most since 2013/14.
Included in the figures were any arrests during domestic men’s and women’s matches, as well as foreign games including England and Wales teams. Drug offenses were also incorporated into the statistics for the first time.
West Ham supporters once again retained the ignoble title of fan arrests during the 2022/23 season. Eighty-nine total Hammers fans were arrested during soccer games throughout the most recent campaign.
Bans on the rise as teams try to deter soccer arrests in England and Wales
Banning orders were also on the rise in these two areas as well. In fact, there were 682 bans given to fans during the 2022/23 season. This was a 32% increase compared to the previous campaign. The recent surge was the highest number since the 2010/11 season in which 960 bans were given out.
In total, there were 1,624 total bans in place as of August 1st, 2023. 1,618 (99.6%) of these bans were issued to men and 1,133 of them to people aged between 18 and 34. According to the report, Manchester United fans racked up the most bans of any team in the study.
There were several high-profile cases of fan arrests from the 2022/23 season. This includes a Tottenham Hotspur fan kicking Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, a 15-year-old girl getting hit in the head with a beer glass filled with coins during a fixture between Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as a Leeds fan confronting Newcastle manager Eddie Howe during a match in May.
Pitch invasions drastically down in the UK
There were, however, a few positive statistics in the report. Pitch invasion arrests were down quite significantly during the 2022/23 campaign. There were 147 total arrests for fans storming the pitch, which was down from 313 from a year ago. The total number of games with arrests also fell 6% compared to the previous season as well.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PA Images
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