By Charlotte Harpur
28 January 2022 4:21 PM GMT
4 Comments


Chelsea Women have been fined €2,500 by UEFA for not preventing a pitch invader during their Champions League group-stage game against Juventus.

A male fan ran onto the field and held up his phone to record himself on the pitch during the European competition at Kingsmeadow on December 8. He was allowed to enter the centre circle at a leisurely pace with no stewards in sight.

Chelsea forward Sam Kerr bodychecked him to the floor before he ran off, pursued by two stewards. Kerr was booked for the incident while the supporter was suspended by the club.

Chelsea have now been punished for the incident, as UEFA rules stipulate that “host clubs and national associations are responsible for order and security both inside and around the stadium before, during and after matches.”

Clubs are also “liable for incidents of any kind and may be subject to disciplinary measures and directives unless they can prove that they have not been negligent in any way in the organisation of the match”.

The rules add: “All associations and clubs are liable for the following inappropriate behaviour on the part of their supporters and may be subject to disciplinary measures and directives even if they can prove the absence of any negligence in relation to the organisation of the match:

On Wednesday, the government said that there may need to be consideration to widen the scope of football banning order legislation after The Athletic reported that the legislation does not cover all women’s games in the UK. The loophole came to light following the pitch invasion at Kingsmeadow.

Speaking in parliament, sports minister Nigel Huddleston said “Football banning order legislation does cover both men’s and women’s designated matches where there is a high risk of disorder but there may well need to be consideration whether the current scope of the order needs to be widened.”

Following The Athletic’s report, Tracey Crouch was among eight MPs who wrote to Huddleston in December to ask for the loophole to be closed.

The MPs' letter read: “We strongly urge you to consider an immediate change to the legislation to ensure that professional women's football is listed as a designated match thus bringing parity of protection to female footballers afforded to their male counterparts.”

Domestic women’s games, including the Women’s Super League and Women’s FA Cup matches, are not automatically classified as designated matches.

The Women’s FA Cup final on December 5, attended by 40,942 fans, was not named a designated match, for example.

A Home Office statement read: “Football banning order legislation covers both women’s and men’s designated matches where there is a high risk of disorder, and matches in the UEFA Women's Champions League and women’s international matches fall under its scope.

“Matches are designated based on the history of incidents and the assessment of risk. Where matches are not designated, they are subject to generic public order legislation that applies to them as well as other sporting events.”

(Photo: John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)
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