Tigers call for life bans and big fines

11 months ago By David Watters

EVO-STIK League Hyde United want to see the flare-throwing fans who marred their televised Emirates FA Cup clash with MK Dons banned for life before footing the bill for the damage they caused.

The Tigers - facing a four figure repair bill after pyrotechnics set fire to their artificial surface and a possible fine from the Football Association for the disruption caused - want to see the book thrown at those responsible and have handed over photographs and video footage as well as the names of two suspects to the police.

Millions watching on BBC 2 on Friday night saw Darren Kelly's side lose 4-0 to MK Dons at Ewen Fields after the kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes by the first flare thrown before a second launched towards visiting supporters at half-time set fire to a second area of the 4G £500,000 surface, installed last season by the EVO-STIK League's official pitch partners at GreenFields.

In a statement singling out the vast majority of spectators in the crowd of 2,980 for their good behaviour, angry officials vowed to see the perpetrators held to account for marring their first appearance in the first round proper in 17 years since losing 3-1 at home to Darlington in 1994.

The Tigers said: “We will be pursuing a prosecution of the individual or individuals involved through the courts in line with the Football (Offences) Act 1991: Throwing of missiles onto the playing area or into the crowd – s.2 and Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.

“We will be asking for the courts to fine the individuals for the damage and loss of revenue caused by their actions to a facility which cost £500k. We will be asking for a lifetime banning order for all football stadia to be made against all individuals found guilty of any crime in relation to the incidents which took place on Friday 3rd November at Ewen Fields.

“We think it is important to thank the large majority of fans, both home and away, who attended the game with the intention of watching and supporting their team. We believe both sides played in a competitive fixture and 99 per cent of the 3,000 fans inside the ground enjoyed the game and the overall experience provided by Hyde United FC as the host club.”

The statement added: “We have reported the throwing of flares on to the pitch as criminal damage and have received a crime number. The Police will now carry out a formal investigation. We have received a large number of photographs and videos clearly showing the people involved, along with confirmed names of these individuals. This information will be passed to the police.

“We would urge people who attended the game to continue to send in any information they may have to office@hydefc.co.uk. The damage to the pitch has resulted in the closure of the facility, resulting in loss of revenue, and will require significant financial investment to rectify.”

Images courtesy of BBC Sport, @hydeunited & @AwayDays_/Twitter

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