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Statement in response to FOI request on West Yorkshire Police

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

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The Football Supporters’ Federation notes with dismay and concern the revelations arising from the Freedom of Information request for emails from within West Yorkshire Police. These appear to undermine the argument that the “bubble match” arrangements for the Huddersfield Town v Hull City game were based on “intelligence” about potential disorder, and rather suggest that the decision was primarily financially or even politically motivated.

The FSF reaffirms our belief that football supporters should be policed on the basis of our behaviour and not our reputation, and that the objective of good football policing should be to facilitate, in safety, the legitimate wishes of fans to enjoy the football experience. Watching football is not a crime, and we support the call by Hull City fans for an apology from West Yorkshire Police for their handling of the arrangements of this fixture.

Together with local supporter representatives, the FSF last week had an open and constructive meeting with ACC Guildford and his colleagues at WYP to discuss potentially improved ways of working together. We look forward to further co-operation in the future, absorbing the lessons of recent experiences and restoring the trust of football supporters in the policing authorities.

Update (3rd July 2013) – Hull City have released their own statement crediting, “the diligence of both the Football Supporters’ Federation and Reds Away in pursuing this matter alongside supporters’ groups representing both Huddersfield Town and Hull City”. The club also accused WYP of “pursuing a specific agenda in their unwarranted imposition of the travel ‘bubble'”.

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