Three-Year Football Ban For Leeds Fan Over Tragedy Chant Incident

Friday, December 8, 2023

A Leeds United supporter has been given a three-year football banning order over a tragedy chanting incident during their match with Cardiff City. 

Harry Keyes, aged 22, of Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, was arrested at the Elland Road stadium on August 6 this year after police evidence gatherers saw him making aeroplane gestures, believed to be in reference to the death of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala who was killed in a plane crash in 2019. 

He was charged with a Section 5 public order offence in relation to the incident. 

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates Court today where he was fined £107 with £85 prosecution costs and £43 victim surcharge. An application for a three-year football banning order was also approved. 

Chief Inspector Pete Hall, who led the policing operation at the match, said: “Directing chants, comments or gestures that refer to tragic incidents at rival fans is highly offensive and can cause genuine distress to those affected by those incidents. 

“It has absolutely no place in football, and people going to games should be in no doubt about how seriously the authorities and the clubs will treat any such incidents. 

“We know that the majority of fans don’t want to see this type of behaviour and want to see firm action against those who engage in it. 

“We will be continuing to work closely with Leeds United and visiting clubs to investigate any offences and respond appropriately, including seeking football banning orders against those involved.” 

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