When is a crime 'football related'?

Posted: 17th August 2012

Football crowdWhen three drunken West Ham fans on their way home from a match attacked a man on a train and were convicted of assault, the judge imposed a banning order on them which prohibited them from attending football matches for six years.

The three appealed against the order, arguing that their violence was not 'football related' because it happened on a train to Reading some time after the game.

The Court of Appeal ruled that because the violence was unrelated to football itself, but had arisen when a fellow passenger took issue with their behaviour. There was no 'football-related spark' and accordingly, a football banning order was inappropriate.