Flares in Football


November 14, 2013 by bluenosebible

It can be argued that it is a common trend for Blues’ fans to be penned in and treated like animals at away matches.

Being herded like cattle, searched from top to bottom and having to wade through the banks of stewards even before stepping foot into the ground.

_69851134_flareThis was more evident a couple of months ago when visiting Loftus Road for our match against QPR where the back four of security at the turnstiles were tighter than most clubs in the division!

I didn’t understand why the security needed to be so severe for a game where there was no reason to expect trouble until watching a royal blue smoke bomb fly through the air from my right and onto the pitch, luckily without hitting anyone.

It was the first time I’d been to a game with a smoke bomb or flare and I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about.

The game was delayed and there was a horrible smell because of it, so why do fans think they’re great?

Last month, the Stoke fans set off three smoke bombs after their first goal and did nothing except blocked the view of their own fans who were only interested in watching the game.

With social media being used across the globe, fans now have access to picture like never before of displays, particularly in South America and Eastern Europe, where fans use flares, smoke bombs and banners to supposedly enhance the atmosphere and intimidate the opposition.

Despite being banned, football fans are trying to replicate these displays by taking flares and smoke bombs into grounds, which has seen a 150% rise in arrests for being in possession of flares or fireworks.

article-2282468-182E9D64000005DC-234_634x418What does that say about a club’s support when their fans need pretty team coloured flares and smoke bombs to “improve the atmosphere”?

If they’re childish enough to be entertained and animated by this then maybe football isn’t for them.

They only have to wait for bonfire night where they are actually used in a safe way!

There are also the safety risks they cause to the fans using them and spectators who wouldn’t.

Even in a place where they are acceptable like Brazil a 14 year boy was killed early this year when a flare allegedly hit the young Corinthians fan in the eye, killing him instantly.

Bare in mind the fact flares burn at 1600C for up to an hour and you’ll understand why they are considered a firework and why the Police are clamming down on their use in sports ground.

In Sweden a flare started a stand fire in a game between Gothenburg and GAIS when a banner came into contact with a flare where one female fan was treated for serious burns.

Someone suffering from asthma or a young child could also be in danger if they inhale the smoke from a smoke bomb just like a 15 year old Aston Villa fan in May.

The boy was at their final game of the season away to Wigan last season and was rushed to hospital with lung damage when a smoke bomb was let off after they’d scored.

Why should an innocent teenager’s lives be in danger or taken because of mindless fans who thought it look good if they used coloured flares or smoke bombs?

The FA should seriously consider punishing teams who consistently use pyrotechnics at matches to show their strong stance on the matter.

_70706549_flareHeavy fines wouldn’t work well in the Premiership and Championship so I believe even heavy punishments like stadium bans or games open to just season ticket holders would be a great way for the FA to put their foot down.

It might sound harsh on fans not involved, but at least the fans involved will think twice about doing it in the future.

The last thing the English game needs is another serious incident in football where an issue wasn’t dealt with before they learn.

There is a chance now for the FA to act on this issue before it grows into an even bigger situation.

By Oliver Osborn (The Bluenose Bible)


2 thoughts on “Flares in Football

  1. John BCFC says:

    The FA and Police couldn’t even act quickly or decisively when Poland fans set off flares at Wembley last month, when hundreds of flares were let off inside and outside the ground.
    They only made a few arrests for this offence.
    They have camera’s everywhere but only arrested a few, but are quick enough to post pictures of domestic clubs hooligans but not foriegn ones.
    They also failed at the Swansea v St Galen Europa Cup game when again the away fans used flares.
    It seems they only act when it’s a domestic game.

  2. Chris says:

    I agree with you on this, I don’t know why fans feel the need to bring them in. A couple of years ago when we played Villa in the prem, someone near me chucked one on the pitch and because of the wind the smoke blew straight in my direction and I couldn’t see what was going on for a couple of minutes.

    It is sad now that at St.Andrew’s you can’t get a bottle cap into the game but they would probably let me in if I had a flare in my pocket.

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