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Important information: Travelling fans

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Important information: Travelling fans

Aston Villa are proud of our loyal, passionate travelling support.

The players and staff, too, are hugely appreciative of the backing of the thousands of Villa fans who follow the team across the country.

However, it is essential that the passion that fans display for the club does not spill over into behaviour that puts the safety of other spectators at risk.

In recent weeks there have been several instances of smoke bombs and flares being brought into football matches at stadiums across the country and at all levels of the game.

Most fans are responsible and well behaved, but it is important to stress that the small minority who do bring these items into matches are putting themselves and others in harm's way.

Flares burn at extremely high temperatures and release several dangerous chemicals that can cause serious harm, especially in such a confined, crowded area as a football stadium.

Bringing flares to a football stadium is a criminal offence, and anyone who is found to be in possession of any such item will be arrested, face criminal charges and a football banning order.

Villa's Head of Security, John Handley, said: "As everyone knows, the use of flares has been getting worse in the UK for the past two years.

"For me, it's a health issue and a spectator issue.

"First, you can cause someone lung damage if they inhale the smoke from a close distance. You could also burn someone very badly as they burn at a phenomenally high temperature.

"They are a real threat to safety and enjoyment.

"Ultimately, the police see this as a serious issue. It's hooliganism.

"If you're found, you'll be arrested. If you throw one and it injures someone, you could well be facing a jail sentence. In terms of the football club, any of our fans found in possession could well face a life ban.

"We are a very proud football club. And we know the fans are proud of the club they support. What I would say is don't let the club down."

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 22nd November 2013
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