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Sunday, 17 June, 2001, 18:12 GMT 19:12 UK
Are crowds out of control?
Thousand of fans invaded the pitch stripping players of their kit
Three pitch invasions have marred sporting events across Europe.

Are sports crowds getting out of control? And what can be done to prevent pitch invasions becoming commonplace?


In cricket, Pakistan's win over England was overshadowed by a pitch invasion before the end of the match in which a steward was injured.

While in football the climax to Italy's Serie A also witnessed scenes of chaos, as Roma fans invaded the pitch in celebration at their team's first Scudetto in 18 years.

There were similar scenes at Juventus' match in Turin, and all three invasions took place before the matches had ended.

In Australia, huge fines are imposed for invading the pitch. Is it time for such measures at European events?

What can be done to prevent pitch invasions becoming commonplace?

Tell us what you think.

The act of pitch invasion should be made punishable by law.
Nadeem Ahmed, Australia

The difference is that the law in Australia is designed to stop solo invaders such as streakers. There is NO WAY Australian officials are going to arrest and fine 400+ people. I'd like to see them try though.

The only thing that will stop that number of people from entering the field from 360 degrees are fences - and they're not acceptable (in football anyway) after Hillsborough, Ellis Park, etc. Videoing crowd invasions and then trying to identify people may be costly, time-consuming, and will not stop anyone from injury, but it may act as a deterrent. There is no other feasible alternative. The security required to stop 400+ people from invading would be impractical
Andrew Stevenson, New Zealand

Why on earth are the ECB officials sitting on their hands on this issue? Someone is going to wind up being killed by one of these nutcases. The approach adopted by the Australians is to have stewards surrounding the inside of the perimeter fence and then slap a $5,000 fine on any idiots who set foot on the ground. The SCG and MCG are much bigger grounds than the grounds here and if they can be policed effectively, why can it not be done here?

It is not a gesture of celebration; it is marring the game of cricket for everybody, including the players.
Leanne Bentley, London, England

Today's cricket match between Pakistan and England was one that should have been enjoyable to watch. Yet again it was marred by idiots running onto the pitch before the match had ended. By running on to the pitch these idiots do not know that they are endangering the lives of players, other fans and themselves. As well as the fact that they spoil the fun of a win for the other supporters and the winning team.
Abdul Ahmad, UK

There is no reason, and therefore no excuse to invade the pitch at any sporting event. Anyone doing so should be fined very heavily (as in Australia) or even jailed for presenting a threat to public safety. The minority of morons who engage in this sort of behaviour would very quickly get the message.
Bill, UK

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See also:

17 Jun 01 |  Europe
Roma clinch Italian title
17 Jun 01 |  NatWest Series
Pitch invasion mars Pakistan win
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