The FA has issued lifetime bans to a pair of England fans who were caught performing overtly insulting gestures during a trip to an away game in Germany in March, the first time the FA has given out lifetime bans to members of the official supporter’s group.
One fan was caught doing a Nazi salute, while the other made the throat slash symbol and mocked the Hitler mustache. During that trip, fans were also spotted singing songs mocking World War II, and booing the German national anthem, which garnered a statement from FA chief Greg Dyke condemning the “disrespectful” behavior.
Multiple reports, the bans are just the beginning of harsher crackdowns on hooliganism by the FA. The report says the organization is increasingly worried about the young adult fanbase that has shown an increasingly bold tendency, especially on away games.
Along with the pair of lifetime bans, the FA also handed out 16 suspensions and sent letters of warning to four others. In addition, extra security has been ordered for Saturday’s match in Scotland – which has a later 5pm start time – with special training given to game stewards and a heightened police presence for the surrounding area.
Unfortunately, the FA is at this time only able to sanction official members of the supporter’s group, whose membership has apparently fallen from 57,000 in 2007 all the way to around 8,000 currently.