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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Smoking banned in football ground
Ricoh Arena
Stewards will enforce the ban on match days
Football fans are being told they are no longer allowed to smoke inside Coventry City's newly-opened stadium.

Management at the 113m Ricoh Arena have introduced the total ban following a three-game trial where fans were allowed to smoke at half time.

Chief executive Paul Fletcher said the decision had been taken after getting feedback from supporters.

He said the board took into account the fact the stadium was in the open air when making the decision.

"The board has thought long and hard about this issue over the last 12 months and listened to the passionate views of both sides of the argument.

"We all accept we are in a grey area at present as we all await legislation which will ban smoking in all public areas," Mr Fletcher said.

Some people need a smoke when watching Coventry City
Dave Rose, Sky Blue Army Fanzine
He added the board took letters and e-mails from fans into account as well as the policies of Coventry City Council, the Football Association and the Football League.

No-smoking signs will be placed around the stadium bowl and stewards will enforce the policy on match days, he added.

Fans will be able to go to identified areas outside the building where they can smoke.

Dave Rose, of the Sky Blue Army fanzine, said he was a non-smoker himself but added some people would feel strongly about the ban.

"Some people need a smoke when watching Coventry City," he said.

The club left their old ground, Highfield Road, at the end of the last football season.

They are currently in 18th position in the Championship and their next home game is against Crystal Palace on 15 October.

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