Doncaster Rovers bosses are warning they will ban for life fans who set off flares and smoke bombs, after a spate of incidents at games.
Bosses have announced they will come down hard on supporters who bring fireworks and pyrotechnics to the Keepmoat Stadium and also to the club’s away fixtures.
The tough stance comes after incidents involving Rovers fans, including a smoke bomb set off during the 3-1 defeat at Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
Flares, often used by supporters on the continent, have been growing in popularity among UK fans over the past few seasons – but a safety campaign has warned the devices can burn at temperatures of up to 1600c, extreme enough to melt most metal. It is feared the problem could peak in the run-up to Bonfire Night as fireworks go on sale.
Flares and smoke bombs are among the list of banned items inside all British football stadiums.
In a statement, the club said it would ‘clamp down hard’ on future offenders.
The club said: “Doncaster Rovers FC reiterate our stance we are absolutely against the use of pyrotechnics inside or outside of any football stadium.
“Supporters found using pyrotechnics either at Keepmoat Stadium or any away ground will be the subject of action by the club and the police.
“Such is the determination of the authorities to eradicate the use of pyrotechnics from football, any supporter found using them could be liable to a criminal conviction and, in certain cases, imprisonment.”
The club has announced it will impose indefinite bans on any supporter violating the strict policy.
It said: “As well as negatively affecting other fans’ enjoyment of the game, pyrotechnics are a serious danger to those with breathing difficulties and disabled supporters who cannot easily escape from the smoke.
“Pyrotechnics were used by both sets of fans in the recent derby game against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park and the club is willing to use photo and video evidence against potential future offenders.”
The announcement received a mixed reaction from fans on social media.
Writing on Facebook, Kevin Foxton posted: “Nothing wrong with them if they are used correctly and not deliberately thrown onto the pitch or intended to harm anyone. It adds to the atmosphere. No pyro, no party.”
Matty Banks saidd: “They create fantastic atmosphere. Even in Greece they do it at basketball games.”
But Richard Harbin wrote: “I’m glad as they could kill someone”.
And Malcolm Hagyard posted: “The supporters who let them off aren’t real supporters, just hooligans and idiots who should get banned for life from all football grounds.”