Revealed: Number of Hartlepool United fans banned from Euro 2016
Dozens of Hartlepool United fans have been banned from attending matches at Euro 2016 as England prepare to kick-off their campaign tonight.
The Three Lions will take on Russia in their opening match of the tournament in Marseille.
However, 28 Pools fans will not be cheering them on after they had to surrender their passports ahead of the competition.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: “This is intended to be a preventative measure rather than a punitive one, and it is one of many tools police forces across the UK have at their disposal to ensure that people suspected of intending to cause trouble – either while travelling to matches or while watching games – cannot do so.
“It helps ensure a safe, enjoyable match experience for the law-abiding majority.”
Also in the Cleveland Police area, 28 Middlesbrough supporters have been forced to surrender their passports.
Similar orders have taken place elsewhere, including in the Northumbria Police force area, where 164 football supporters have been banned from travelling to France.
That figure includes 122 Newcastle United fans and 42 Sunderland supporters, who are subject to orders in the Northumbria Police force area.
In November it was revealed that Pools had the second-highest number of banning orders against supporters in League Two.
Statistics released by the Home Office showed that eight Pools fans were subjected to banning orders in the 2014-15 season, bringing the total number of bans against the club’s supporters to 24 at that time.
The only League Two club which then had more banning orders against supporters was Luton Town, with 27.
Between 2014 and 2015, though, the number of football banning orders in England and Wales fell for the fourth year in a row.
Between September 4, 2014, and September 8, 2015, there were a total of 2,181 active banning orders in the country, down 4% from the year before.
Football fans across the country are expected to tune in tonight as Roy Hodgson’s England begin their latest bid for tournament success.
The Three Lions last reached the last four of a major competition in 1996 on home soil, and have never reached the final of the European Championship.
Also in their group this year are Wales and Slovakia.