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Pitch-invading fans face ban from Premier League games

Premier League clubs have agreed to give pitch-invading fans a minimum one-year ban from their team’s home and away matches.

Supporters who are found guilty of entering the pitch without permission or using smoke bombs and other pyrotechnics will receive the automatic 12-month suspension.

The bans could also be extended to accompanying parents or guardians of children who take part in such activities.

In response to a rash of dangerous pitch invasions in the Premier League and lower leagues last season, England’s top-flight clubs met in London on Wednesday in a bid to find a solution to the growing problem.

The policy comes into effect immediately, with the next round of Premier League matches slated for the weekend of October 1 and 2.

“At a Premier League Shareholders’ Meeting today, clubs unanimously agreed to introduce minimum-length bans for supporters who take part in anti-social and criminal behaviours at League stadiums,” a Premier League statement said.

“Fans caught carrying or activating pyrotechnics or smoke bombs, or entering the pitch without permission, will receive an automatic club ban with a minimum term of one year.

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira lashed out at an Everton supporter after being goaded by fans who ran onto the pitch following their side’s victory at Goodison Park last term.

There were also ugly scenes when fans swarmed the pitch after Nottingham Forest’s Championship play-off semi-final win against Sheffield United in May.

Blades striker Billy Sharp was butted by a Forest fan who was subsequently jailed for 24 weeks and given a 10-year football banning order.

A Leicester fan ran onto the pitch and tried to punch Nottingham Forest players during an FA Cup tie in February.

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