Two football fans have been banned from Doncaster Rovers home and away games for two years after smoke bombs were let off at last night’s Capital One Cup victory over Leeds United.
The club has pledged to clamp down hard on supporters bringing smoke bombs and flares to games and the bans come after a series of incidents involving Rovers fans and pyrotechnics.
Devices were set off during last night’s penalty shoot-out victory over Rovers’ West Yorkshire rivals in the South Stand at the Keepmoat Stadium.
A similar device was set off during Rovers’ first league game of the season against Bury on Saturday and play had to be stopped during a pre-season game against Frickley after a smoke bomb was hurled onto the pitch.
There were also several incidents involving Rovers fans and pyrotechnics at both home and away fixtures last year.
A club statement said: “Such is the determination of Doncaster Rovers and Keepmoat Stadium to eradicate the use of pyrotechnic devices at the venue, we can announce that two people will be given unconditional two year banning orders from both home and away games following their actions on Thursday evening.
“Rovers would like to reiterate the dangers of pyrotechnic devices in crowded areas and we are working with our partners, including South Yorkshire Police to identify culprits.
“The club is committed to cooperating with all supporters, in particular over the newly created Black Bank section whose impact upon the atmosphere cannot be questioned and has making significant improvements to the match day experience in general.”
The Black Bank came into force at the start of the season and involves supporters being allowed access to unrestricted seating to attempt to create an atmosphere within the South Stand with supporters also bringing flags and drums.
The statement added: “We have also received a number of e-mails praising the club over our stance with regards to flags and banners which, after consultation with our fans groups has been deemed as fair and appropriate to allow the Black Bank to flourish.
“Unfortunately we still have a minority of individuals who are insistent on taking advantage of the boundaries in place – as agreed by Doncaster Rovers, Keepmoat Stadium and its safety officers and the Black Bank and its supporters. This will not be tolerated.”
Keepmoat Stadium Safety Officer Sam Ramsden said: “We’re disappointed to see the actions of a minority last night, especially given that I had met with a great number of people who offered me their personal assurances along with signing an ASB contract, which agrees to work with us and act in a manner deemed suitable in advance of creating an exciting atmosphere within the parameters we have to operate safely for all attendees including our stewards and younger supporters.
“Unfortunately, some individuals soon overlooked this and betrayed our trust despite previous warnings and decided to behave in a manner counterproductive to our objectives. Despite our very best intentions to work with these people Doncaster Rovers have decided to impose a two year banning orders to the two fans regardless of future Football League and Police action which will no doubt also go on to greatly penalise the club and the individuals involved.
Sam finished: “As Safety office of this club I’m absolutely committed to working with people inside what are deemed fair and appropriate parameters as we all want you to enjoy the game. I hope this latest set of action is understood and it allows for a continuation of the successful relationship as part of the atmosphere agenda.”