Nine-year-old hospitalised after use of pyrotechnics at non-league match

A nine-year-old boy has been left requiring hospital treatment after the use of pyrotechnics by fans at a match in the National League North on Sunday.

The incident occurred during the match between Chester and AFC Telford United, with the injuries understood to have been caused by the away fans setting off a flare.

Telford have since condemned the actions of their fans in a club statement and confirmed they will work with Chester to identify those responsible.

CCTV footage of the away end at Chester's Deva Stadium during the 1-1 draw will also be reviewed in order to deal with the incident.

Telford released a club statement on Sunday night in response to the incident which reads: "AFC Telford United would like remind supporters we are committed to eradicate the use of flares, smoke bombs and pyrotechnics at our matches.

"Several flares were let off this afternoon by a small minority of away supporters which has resulted in a 9 year old boy needing hospital treatment this evening.

"Flares and smoke bombs disrupt play and people’s enjoyment of games, and the toxins they contain can seriously damage health which can cause life-threatening injury or concern.

"Being in possession of a flare or smoke bomb at a football match, or attempting to bring a pyrotechnic device into a football stadium, is a criminal offence.

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"We will take the strongest action available against anyone found in possession of a flare, smoke bomb or any other such pyrotechnic device, and spectators are warned that we and The National League apply a zero-tolerance approach to anyone attempting to bring such device into any stadium when following AFC Telford United.

"Each time a flare is let off during a football match, the club is fined by the FA which has detrimental effect on money which could be better spent on improving the playing squad."

The club also reminded their supporters that sentencing guidelines for such offences recommend three months imprisonment and a three-year ban from attending football matches in England.

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