Ensuring public order during sports events

event1-2-300x205Ever since I can remember I am a sports fan and I spend a lot of time at stadiums. What are my rights during a sports event?

During a sports event I have the right of access to the stadium/hall if I’m in possession of:

  • an entry ticket – which I have bought as a spectator;
  • a special pass – in case I am a journalist, a photographer, etc;
  • an invitation.

Upon entering the sports area I must present my entry ticket. The ticket, the special pass and the invitation should include the respective sector, block and seat, as well as the date and time of the event. Furthermore, the prohibitions for visitors during the sports event should be listed on the ticket. I am obliged to take the seat marked on my entry ticket unless I’m otherwise instructed by the organizers for security reasons. During the event I am obliged not to threaten or harm the other visitors. If I cannot prove my right to access (if I don`t have an entry ticket) or if I am a threat for security I will be removed from the sports event.

I will be denied access to the sports event if:

  • I refuse to pass the security check (NB! Enforced checks are forbidden.);
  • I carry forbidden objects;
  • I am intoxicated or under the influence of drugs;
  • I am juvenile (under the age of 14) without the supervision of an adult (over the age of 18);
  • I am banned to visit sports events in my country or abroad.

 The following items are forbidden to import in the stadium/hall:

  • weapons and objects that can be used as a weapon (like an umbrella);
  • protective sprays, or ones with acid or colouring substances;
  • bottles including plastic ones over 500 ml or objects made from fragile or particularly hard material;
  • large items such as ladders, trunks, suitcases,chairs, etc.;
  • signal rockets or pyrotechnic objects;
  • banners and posters with handles longer than 1 meter and with a diameter greater than 1cm with the exception of light PVC handles with a diameter up to 2.5cm:
  • mechanical objects and equipment that generates noise (like clappers, sirens, etc.);
  • alcoholic drinks, drugs or other intoxicating substances;
  • animals.

I may be checked with special technical equipment for forbidden objects (like a metal detector).

Furthermore, it is forbidden to:

  • climb or jump over buildings and facilities which are not intended for public use and especially walls, fences, bars on the play field, separating walls, lighting equipment, camera platforms, trees, poles and roofs;
  • enter restricted areas;
  • throw objects of any kind to the audience or on the play field;
  • start fire;
  • sell entry tickets without prior authorization;
  • write, draw or attach posters on the sports facilities or along the roads leading to them;
  • satisfy my physiological needs outside the toilets or to pollute the sports area in any other way by throwing objects.

If I conduct an obscene activity (like cursing or showing  obscene gestures which are particularly vulgar, if I participate in a fight, enter the field, use forbidden objects, etc.) which is not a crime (like damaging somebody’s property, causing an injury, etc.) and it’s carried out intentionally in the sports area or around it right before, during or after the sports event, I can be punished in one of the following ways:

  • I can be detained in the Police Station (for a period of up to 20 days);
  • I can be fined (with up to 1 000 leva);
  • I can be punished with community service;
  • I can be banned from visiting sports events in my country or abroad (for a period of one to two years).

If I engage in a similar activity again the detention could be for a period of up to 25 days, the fine – up to 2 000 leva and the ban to visit sports events can be for a period of 2 to 3 years.

If I disturb the security checks upon entering the sports area, or import forbidden objects, or perform another forbidden activity from the ones listed above, I can be fined from 100 to 300 leva. If I break my ban for visiting sports events I can be fined from 500 to 1000 leva.

(*) The current article aims to outline some of Your basic rights, with no claims to be a legal advisor. If you are facing some difficulties or if your case is more complex we strongly encourage you to consult a legal expert. (*)

Author: Bogdan Mlachkov

Translator: Radoslav Pavlov