23 Bolton Wanderers fans forced to hand over passports to police ahead of World Cup (From This Is Lancashire)
23 Bolton Wanderers fans forced to hand over passports to police ahead of World Cup
POLICE have stopped 23 Bolton Wanderers fans from travelling to the World Cup in Brazil by making them hand in their passports.
Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police wrote to the Whites supporters who all have football banning orders, asking them to hand in their travel documents before the start of the tournament.
They prevent people going to stadium for any league match in the UK or any England international match at home or abroad.
Police will retain the passports until the end of the tournament when fans can collect them.
In total, 210 fans who support football clubs based in Greater Manchester have banning orders and 183 of those have passports.
The breakdown is 71 for Manchester United, 45 for Manchester City, 11 for Wigan, 10 for Rochdale, nine for Oldham, eight for Bury and six for Stockport.
So far, only two fans — who follow Manchester United and Manchester City — have failed to hand in their passports.
Greater Manchester Police have also sent an officer to Brazil to keep an eye out for troublemakers from their patch.
Officers will also be based at Manchester Airport to check no one with a ban flies to Brazil.
A police spokesman said: “We are in regular contact with people under banning orders.
“Most recognise the conditions, regret their actions that led to receiving one, and understand that ignoring the orders will only lead to further bans, fines or even jail.
“Football banning orders are working and are playing a key role in cutting incidents of hooliganism and disorder at football matches.”
Football Supporters’ Federation caseworker Amanda Jacks said: “The vast majority of supporters who approach us looking for legal assistance avoid a banning order but many fans don’t seek legal advice and attend court unrepresented.
“Without an experienced solicitor defending, magistrates or judges invariably grant banning order applications on conviction.
“A sizeable proportion of fans on banning orders won’t have committed an offence involving violence and many will be first time offenders.”