Wales and Poland fans told not to take pyrotechnic devices to play-off final

By Isaac M March 25, 2024

Wales and Poland fans have been warned not to bring pyrotechnic devices to Tuesday’s Euro 2024 play-off final at Cardiff City Stadium.

Seven Poland fans were arrested following a Nations League game between the two countries in Cardiff 18 months ago, including four for possession of pyrotechnics.

The Europa Conference League match between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw in November was also marred by crowd trouble, with 46 Polish fans charged after violent clashes with police.

The Football Association of Wales was fined more than £14,500 by FIFA after home fans let off flares during 2022 World Cup play-off victories over Austria and Ukraine in Cardiff.

Superintendent Steve Rees told the PA news agency said: “South Wales Police has vast experience in the policing of major international sporting events which have been held successfully in South Wales over many years and a policing plan is in place for this important fixture for Wales.

“Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring one into a football stadium, is a criminal offence, and anyone found guilty of committing such an offence faces arrest and a Football Banning Order.

“We work closely with Cardiff City Stadium whose staff are responsible for ensuring that supporters abide by stadium regulations.

“As always we would encourage those attending the match to follow the supporter advice published by the Football Association of Wales.”

Being in possession of a pyrotechnic device at a football match, or attempting to bring one into a football stadium, is a criminal offence

South Wales Police superintendent Steve Rees

The FAW said: “There is no safe use of pyrotechnics in spectator areas at football events with their use having many health risks and dangers such as loss of sight, limb or digit removal due to their explosive power.

“Any person committing such an offence faces an FA Wales ban, probable arrest and a minimum 3-year Football Banning Order.

“Additionally, should persons be identified using pyrotechnics in places of public assembly away from and en route to the stadium, they can be issued with section 34 notices and be instructed to leave the area with details passed to the FAW, Cardiff City Stadium and the authorities.

“This may result in entry to the stadium being denied.”

FAW chief executive Noel Mooney responded to fans’ concerns about crowd issues posted on social media after Poland’s visit to Cardiff in September 2022.

Mooney wrote on Twitter, now X: “Picked up a good few messages from last night around policing, security, flags, pyro etc.

“It’s important we are talking to make sure the @Cymru experience is the best it can be.”

Around 1,900 Poland fans are expected in a 33,000 sell-out crowd, with the winners qualifying for Euro 2024 and taking their place in the same group as Austria, France and Netherlands this summer.

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