The artificial pitch at Ewen Fields, home stadium of English soccer team Hyde United FC, caught fire after a fan threw a flare onto the playing surface during an FA Cup game against MK Dons. The pyrotechnic caused the 3G turf to ignite, burning a hole in the surface before the blaze was extinguished by stewards.
The Greater Manchester-based club has reported the throwing of flares as criminal damage to local police, initiating a formal criminal investigation.
“The damage to the pitch has resulted in the closure of the facility, resulting in loss of revenue, and will require significant financial investment to rectify,” revealed the club in an official statement.
“We will be pursuing a prosecution of the individual or individuals involved through the courts in line with the Football (Offences) Act 1991: Throwing of missiles onto the playing area or into the crowd – s.2, and Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.
“We will be asking for the courts to fine the individuals for the damage and loss of revenue caused by their actions to a facility which cost £500k (US$655k).
“We will be asking for a lifetime banning order for all football stadia to be made against all individuals found guilty of any crime in relation to the incidents.”
November 8, 2017