English football is right to crack down on crimes committed in the stands, but Manchester City may have taken health and safety a touch too far – by banning a supporter for smoking an electronic cigarette.
Pitch invasions, racist language and assaulting players are all too common an occurrence in English football and clubs are right to take extreme measures.
But, as one City fan discovered last month, using an electronic cigarette in the stands can be added to that list of offences.
The un-named season ticket holder received a letter signed by Peter Fletcher – City’s Head of Safety and Security – entitled ‘Manchester City v Chelsea 24th February 2013’.
The letter, originally published in Sport Witness, read: “I understand that you were ejected from the above game for using an electronic cigarette.
“This is a prohibited item as mentioned in the terms and conditions of your seasoncard.
“I have now suspended your card pending any explanation that you may wish to give.
“Any representations you may wish to make must be in writing.”
When MM tried to contact Peter Fletcher he was unavailable to comment.
Electronic cigarettes simulate real cigarette smoking by vapourising a liquid solution into a relatively harmless mist.
They can be inhaled and give the feel of a real cigarette by users choosing how much nicotine they want in a cartridge.
Draconian action for what may appear to many as a minor infringement, with electronic cigarettes now smoked in pubs and shopping centres across the country, but it is up to the fan to explain him or herself.
Picture courtesy of planetc1, with thanks.