Football fans who force their way into games without a ticket could be fined or banned, as the Government backs proposals to strengthen restrictions.

Senior Labour MP Kevin Brennan said his Private Member’s Bill aims to deter offenders and “ensure that football continues to be a source of joy and community for everyone”.

Under the proposals, those gaining unauthorised entry to grounds could be fined up to £1,000 and receive a possible football banning order.

The Bill adds a new offence to the Football (Offences) Act 1991 of unauthorised or attempted unauthorised entry to football matches.

Wembley stadium
Kevin Brennan said he was bringing the Bill forward after an incident at Wembley stadium when between 3,000-5,000 ticketless people gained entry (Nick Ansell/PA)

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said perpetrators of these “disruptive and dangerous offences” would face justice as a result of the Bill.

During the Bill’s second reading in the Commons on Friday, Mr Brennan said: “In drafting this Bill I’ve been mindful of maintaining the open and inclusive nature of football matches, it’s not the intention to criminalise fans or to create barriers to genuine supporters enjoying the games.

“Instead the focus is on preventing those who would seek to cause disorder and harm from entering stadiums, and thus ensuring a safer environment for all.

“By strengthening the legal framework we can deter unauthorised entry and reduce that risk of disorder and violence and we can ensure that football continues to be a source of joy and community for everyone.”

Senior Labour MP Kevin Brennan
Senior Labour MP Kevin Brennan said his Private Member’s Bill aims to deter offenders (Richard Townshend/PA)

Mr Brennan said he was bringing the Bill forward after an incident at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley stadium, when between 3,000-5,000 ticketless people gained entry.

Baroness Casey’s independent review into the incident found a number of “near misses” and highlighted the need to strengthen the law to combat tailgating and other unauthorised entry methods into football stadiums.

The Cardiff West MP said the Bill has the support of the FA, the FAW and the footballer Martin Keown.

Mr Tugendhat told MPs said it would be concerning for football to be “closed off to families”.

He added: “This is an important measure, which will ensure the perpetrators of these disruptive and dangerous offences face justice and it should provide a strong deterrent effect.”

The proposals will cover international games and the “top tiers” of football in England and Wales, from the Premier League to the National League, in addition to the Women’s Super League and Cymru Premier.

Conservative MP Philip Davies said the Bill should include other major sporting events such as the Olympics, horse racing, or the Rugby World Cup.

He also said the provisions should be rolled out to music concerts, adding: “It seems to me that this kind of legislation must be just as important for big music events, concerts, etc, which are often held, by the way, at the same sporting locations and stadiums as sporting events.”

The Shipley MP also said those who are being “cheeky” should not face the same repercussions as those who have a “deliberate strategy”.

He said: “There’s a world of difference between a group of people who have a deliberate strategy of public disorder to force their way into, through sheer weight of numbers, into an event, causing all sorts of potentially serious repercussions.

“And somebody who is desperate to get to an event, who hasn’t got a ticket, who cheekily tries to blag their way in through one means or another.”

Mr Davies added: “What I wouldn’t want to see, potentially, is that the same weight of the law clamp down on the first group in the same way as it would the second group.”

Mr Brennan said the courts have the discretion not to issue a banning order depending on the circumstances.

Shadow policing minister Alex Norris said he disagreed with Mr Davies on health and safety grounds, adding: “In this space it’s exceptionally important, and even one person more than the capacity is a dangerous thing in itself.”

Conservative MP for South Ribble Katherine Fletcher admitted gaining entry to a Manchester United game by “hopping the turnstiles”.

She said: “I was in possession of a valid ticket for that game, but the failure of the system led to a huge backlog of fans locked out and that there was a big press of people, and I, amongst hundreds of others, hopped the turnstiles.”

Ms Fletcher was told she would not face legal action because the Bill does not target people with a valid ticket.

The Bill received an unopposed second reading and will progress for further parliamentary scrutiny.