HC Deb 09 November 1988 vol 140 cc190-1W
Mr. John Carlisle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when the report of the Minister for Sport's working party on the national membership scheme for football supporters will be published.

Mr. Moynihan

The report of the working party on a national membership scheme for football supporters, which I chaired, is published today. The working party was set up following the meeting on 6 July between the Prime Minister and the president of the Football League and the chairman of the Football Association, to review the main principles of a national membership scheme for football. The working party included representatives of the Government, the police and the football authorities. All the members of the working party have co-operated in preparing this report and it has been agreed between them. I pay full tribute to the co-operative approach which the football representatives on the working party have adopted throughout many hours of discussions.

The report addresses the specific issue of when the scheme should be implemented. It refers to the work that has to be done on the technology of the scheme and its installation at 92 league clubs. Our target will be to achieve implementation throughout the Football League by spring 1990—subject to Parliament's approval of our legislative proposals and the installation of appropriate technology.

There were 6,147 arrests at Football League matches last season and violent incidents have continued this season, both inside and outside grounds. They cannot be allowed to continue. The national membership scheme offers the prospect of breaking the link, of ending the role of football as a focus for hooliganism and violence.

Copies of the report are being placed in the Library today.