Chelsea tell fans they will be arrested if flares are let off against Swansea
11:09 GMT, 9 January 2013
11:59 GMT, 9 January 2013
Chelsea have publicly warned their supporters that they risk being arrested for bringing flares and smoke bombs into Stamford Bridge.
They have even warned supporters that dogs will be used to sniff out any fans that are attempting to smuggle in any illicit objects.
The behaviour of supporters in English football has been in the spotlight during a season that has been blighted by incidents of coin-throwing and racist abuse.
Worrying trend: Flares and coins have been thrown at several games this season
The most recent Manchester derby ended in disgraceful scenes as Rio Ferdinand was struck by a coin just above his eye and blue flame from flares enveloped the pitch.
A statement on the club website reads: ‘Chelsea Football Club reminds our supporters that taking flares, smoke bombs or anything similar into a stadium breaches Ground Regulations and using such objects is likely to result in arrest. Their use is extremely dangerous and risks serious injury to fellow fans.
‘Unfortunately there has been an increase in incidents involving flares and smoke bombs in recent weeks and as well as fans facing prosecution, the club is liable to be charged by the authorities should this behaviour continue.
‘Anyone choosing to break the law regarding flares and smoke bombs at football matches runs a high risk of being caught. During the FA Cup game at Southampton, a person in the Chelsea section of the stadium was arrested and charged with throwing a flare onto the pitch.’
Blue is the colour: A fan was arrested after a flare was thrown onto the pitch as Chelsea played Southampton in the FA Cup third round last weekend
Chelsea also warned their fans not to attempt to take flares into the Liberty Stadium when the Blues head to South Wales for next week's return leg in a fortnight's time.
‘At our away Capital One Cup match at Swansea later this month, South Wales Police will be using dogs in the area of the turnstiles to detect fans carrying such objects,' the statement went on.
‘Should any arrest result in conviction then Chelsea FC will support the police in every possible way to obtain a football banning order.
‘The club, the players and the management greatly appreciate the large number of fans and the vocal support which have backed the team this season, but we ask for good behaviour to be maintained. Please don’t risk a criminal conviction and banning order, or the club being charged with an offence, for the sake of a flare, smoke bomb or firework.’