Police are warning football fans against a pitch invasion ahead of tomorrow's match.
Cleveland Police say supporters must keep off the pitch at the Middlesbrough v Aston Villa match.
The warning comes after last month’s match against Millwall when fans invaded the pitch following Middlesbrough’s win, which put thousands of spectator’s safety at risk.
Under the Football Offences Act 1991, it is an offence for a person at a designated football match to go onto the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, without lawful authority or lawful excuse.
Chief Inspector Emily Harrison said: “The safety of fans, players, staff and officers attending and working at matches is our upmost priority. Those who choose to invade the pitch are instigating disorder and are causing potential danger to those attending games.
“Football is a family event and this type of behaviour will not be tolerated. Those found to be engaging in such behaviour will be dealt with robustly and could face banning orders from all football matches for up to five years.
“We are currently still pursuing those who invaded the pitch at the last Middlesbrough vs Millwall match and although we understand football can at times cause tensions, we have to clamp down on disorder to protect the thousands of people that go out to enjoy a game of football.”
A spokesman from Middlesbrough Football Club, said: “It is clear that any repeat of the incident at the Millwall game could have serious consequences.
“We are requesting the cooperation and assistance of all genuine Boro supporters to prevent the type of behaviour that can damage the club’s reputation.”