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FOOTBALL (OFFENCES) ACT 1991

UK Public General Acts

Version 01/01/2006

1991 CHAPTER 19

Default Geographical Extent: E+W


  • Version 01/01/2006
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  • Version 28/08/2000
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  • Version 27/09/1999
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  • Version 10/08/1991

Introductory Text

Football (Offences) Act 1991

1991 CHAPTER 19

An Act to make further provision with respect to disorderly conduct by persons attending football matches; and for connected purposes.

[27th June 1991]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Designated football matches.

(1) In this Act a “designated football match” means an association football match designated, or of a description designated, for the purposes of this Act by order of the Secretary of State.

Any such order shall be made by statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(2) References in this Act to things done at a designated football match include anything done at the ground—

(a) within the period beginning two hours before the start of the match or (if earlier) two hours before the time at which it is advertised to start and ending one hour after the end of the match; or
(b) where the match is advertised to start at a particular time on a particular day but does not take place on that day, within the period beginning two hours before and ending one hour after the advertised starting time.
Annotations:

Commencement Information

I1 S. 1 wholly in force at 10.8.1991 see s. 6(2) and S.I. 1991/1564 art. 2.


2 Throwing of missiles.

It is an offence for a person at a designated football match to throw anything at or towards—

(a) the playing area, or any area adjacent to the playing area to which spectators are not generally admitted, or
(b) any area in which spectators or other persons are or may be present,
without lawful authority or lawful excuse (which shall be for him to prove).

Annotations:

Commencement Information

I2 S. 2 wholly in force at 10.8.1991 see s. 6(2) and S.I. 1991/1564 art. 2.


3 Indecent or racialist chanting.

(1) It is an offence to [F1 engage or take part in chanting of an indecent or racialist nature at a designated football match] .

(2) For this purpose—

(a) “chanting” means the repeated uttering of any words or sounds [F2 (whether alone or in concert with one more others) ] ; and
(b) “of a racialist nature” means consisting of or including matter which is threatening, abusive or insulting to a person by reason of his colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins.
Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F1 Words in s. 3(1) substituted (27.9.1999) by 1999 c. 21, ss. 9(1)(2), 12(2) (with s. 12(3))

F2 Words in s. 3(2)(a) substituted (27.9.1999) by 1999 c. 21, s. 9(1)(3), 12(2) (with s. 12(3))

Commencement Information

I3 S. 3 wholly in force at 10.8.1991 see s. 6(2) and S.I. 1991/1564 art. 2.


4 Going onto the playing area.

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 (which shall be for him to prove).

5 Supplementary provisions.

F3 (1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

F4 (3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations:

Amendments (Textual)

F3 S. 5(1) repealed (1.1.2006) by Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15), s. 178(8)(8), Sch. 17 Pt. 2; S.I. 2005/3495, art. 2(1)(u)

F4 S. 5(3) repealed (28.8.2000) by 2000 c. 25, s. 1, Sch. 3; S.I. 2000/2125, art. 2

Commencement Information

I4 S. 5 wholly in force at 10.8.1991 see s. 6(2) and S.I. 1991/1564 art. 2.


6 Short title, commencement and extent.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Football (Offences) Act 1991.

(2) The provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may appoint by order made by statutory instrument, and different days may be appointed for different provisions.

(3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.

Annotations:

Subordinate Legislation Made

P1 S. 6(2) power exercised by S.I.1991/1564

Commencement Information

I5 S. 6 wholly in force at 10.8.1991 see s. 6(2) and S.I. 1991/1564 art. 2.