An investigation by the Sun.
Every ground we scanned contained traces of the Class A drug that sparked the embarrassing scenes at Wembley during the Euro 2020 final in July.
The sheriff is now calling for tougher penalties for those who use cocaine at the base – including the use of more bans – to prevent a return of the thugism seen in the 1980s.
Britain’s top football police officer, Police Chief Constable Mark Roberts, warned that an increasing number of fans were using drugs during matches, creating a “toxic mixture” of violence.
“As we see more incidents of violence, cocaine is one of the factors that along with alcohol will make the situation worse and make people more violent,” he said.
A supporter also said cocaine at football is so rife that fans even snort at it in their seats.
We spotted lines lined up on the heads of loo-rollers at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, while our reporter was offered “charlie” outside a match against Brighton earlier this month .
At The Etihad – home of Premier League champions Manchester City – empty drug bags and a container cocaine was found on a floor. Traces of drugs were also found on the roof of a toilet at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium.
Our findings come after an FA report last month revealed cocaine was the catalyst for thousands of unsoldier fans storming into Wembley for the England-Italy Euro final.
Fans were openly inhaling drugs at the showcase event, with one yob bragging to The Sun about how he set fire to his friend during 15 hours of drug use.
Charlie Perry, 25, bragged that he “smashed a pile of dough” on the big day and was later filmed shooting flares in a viral scene.
Just before the pandemic, cocaine drinking was blamed for a 45% increase in trouble at football fields in the previous two years – including violence, turf invasions and assault the player.
However, police and fans say more coke than ever is being inhaled into the grounds – this has been supported by our poll. Sun reporter Liam Coleman used cocaine-detecting wipes on surfaces in Man City, Spurs, Brighton, Chelsea and Arsenal this month – with 44 of 58 cotton-wetted bathrooms testing positive for cocaine. .
Mr Roberts told The Sun, clubs are looking at installing specialized surfaces in toilets to make it more difficult to use drugs, as well as bring in more sniffer dogs.
MORE COCAINE than ever
However, the official – who heads England and Wales’ football security – admits it is difficult to catch users.
“Cocaine is now more popular in society at large than ever before, including football clubs and football fans,” he said.
“It’s a social issue, but that being said it’s obviously going to affect football as well.
“Where people overemphasize the emotion you have in football, and then you use cocaine, it’s a pretty toxic mix of the way people behave and it often leads to extreme violence.”
He wants a Football Ban for anyone caught with drugs in a yard. Violation of either of those is a criminal offense, punishable by up to six months in prison.
There are currently around 1,400 active orders across the UK, but Mr Roberts believes a bigger push will help reduce drug use rates.
Honestly, it’s really hard for the police, unless you do a full body search
Head of Department Mark Roberts
However, he added: “Honestly, it’s really hard for the police, unless you do a full body search, and then you still probably won’t find it.
“It’s something that easily slips into the ground.
“People can get it discreetly, it’s probably easier than drinking a handful, so the hope will be that we work with the clubs and identify measures to make it difficult for fans to use. a little more drug use.
“Whether it’s flushing the toilet, regular checkups and sniffer dogs on every ground.” Recommendations from the Euro 2020 report include stronger police powers against illegal drug use.
Former Government drug tsar Baroness Casey’s independent assessment has left thousands of football fans “burned by alcohol and drugs”.
Experts at the University of Oxford have confirmed that cocaine use causes supporters to become more aggressive at football matches.
‘PERFORMANCE AT THE HIGHLIGHTS’
A survey found that more than 30% of fans have witnessed cocaine being brought into the stadium – with 6% admitting to personal use.
However, drug possession or use was reported in only 103 of the 2,663 regulated matches in England and Wales over the entire 2019-20 season, with the majority – 81% – involving cocaine .
Although clubs have promised tougher measures to prevent drugs from entering the pitch, one fan claims cocaine use has been rampant before and during matches.
The supporter, who did not wish to be named, told The Sun: “You see people queuing up in the toilets, you see them hitting keys in the stands, or just with their hands. It’s everywhere.
“I’ve never known it like this before, and it just feels like it’s getting worse and worse.”
All the clubs where we found traces of the drug told The Sun they condemn the use. Several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, said they had hunting dog onsite at every match and fans were screened with security wands before entering the field.
Another Premier League club said it uses dogs outside the away turnstile for every game and on occasions outside the home turnstile.
The basic regulations state that the drug is prohibited and that measures such as detection dogs are regularly used to combat it.
Premier League Spokesperson
Bosses at Tottenham Hotspur have described the drug problem as a “social problem” and that it has taken a zero-tolerance approach to drugs in the stadium.
The club, where a fan was photographed snorting cocaine on the pitch in 2017, also said it works closely with the Metropolitan Police on drug-related matters and anyone caught The use of banned substances is prohibited.
Meanwhile, Brighton and Hove Albion bosses say they are “increasingly concerned” about cocaine use at matches.
The club added: “We will continue to take all necessary and possible steps to prevent any illegal substances from entering our stadium and we will continue to take the necessary measures. sanctions are severe for anyone found to be carrying or using any illegal substances in or around our stadium. ”
The Premier League said it also condemns drug use at its stadiums and that its clubs are working alongside police to tackle the issue. A spokesman said: “Having or using cocaine is a criminal offense and can lead to a football ban. The basic regulations state that the drug is prohibited and that measures such as detection dogs are regularly used to combat it.
“Our clubs continue to work closely with police on this matter.”
Coke and alcohol go hand in hand with violence
FANS can spend up to £300 a week on drugs per game, says a fan of the Premier League club.
The season ticket holder, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “Class As is becoming more popular, these days there is a lot of buzz about it. It’s beers, the more coke the better, everyone bangs on it.
“It’s the only thing that gets you out of a drunken day, that’s what you need.
“You don’t want the pills, you start falling in love with people. Coke and alcohol go hand in hand with violence, which is what we all want.
“That’s just the nature of football. You binge all day, and then work. ”
The fan added: “They take it in bulk. If it’s a home game then you’re more likely to get a few grams, but away days you’ll say more.
“I know people who go with their kids and they still do it.
“It’s easy to get it both inside and outside of the ground
“Football is like going to a club but during the day, and spending the day with close friends and they share the same passion, this brings you closer together.
“If you’re all sharing gear and alcohol, that’s going to bring you closer together.
“Unless they’ve been chased behind bars for years like they did with the thugs, it won’t make the slightest difference.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4354821/football-thugs-cocaine-surge-violence/ Football thugs use cocaine to increase violence at stadiums