Overseas travel ban for football hooligans

FOOTBALL hooligans will be banned from travelling overseas for more than a month to keep them away from an international competition.

Ten yobs in Hartlepool will be ordered to hand over their passports to stop them causing havoc while England compete in the European Championships.

The Home Office has revealed that 2,481 people with football banning orders nationwide will not be able to travel to Ukraine and Poland this summer.

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An official “control period” will run from May 29 to July 1, when the army of tainted supporters will not only have to hand in their passports but will be prevented from leaving the country.

PC Mick Hume, football liaison officer at Hartlepool Police, said: “Banning orders are for at least three years, and if an international tournament lands in that time frame, then people must give up their passports.

“These orders are not specifically put out for one tournament as the process goes on for 365 days a year, but travel is stopped during tournaments to stop any problems occurring abroad.

“They are proven to work as a way to prevent disorder at football matches.”

Politicians and police say travel bans in recent years have boosted England fans’ image abroad.

None were arrested for violent disorder at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and England fans were voted the best supporters at the 2006 tournament in Germany.

Home Office minister Lord Henley said: “We are determined to ensure our football fans’ reputation for good behaviour continues and we will use all our powers to ensure those thugs intent on violence will not be allowed to travel to the Ukraine and Poland for the duration of Euro 2012.”

Banning orders are issued by the courts after a conviction of a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or police.

They can last between three and 10 years and can have individual requirements.

Breach of an order is a criminal offence and is punishable by up to six months in prison.

Police say 92 per cent of those given a banning order no longer pose a risk when the order expires.