Supporters attending Swindon Town FCs end-of-season finale against Rotherham at the County Ground on 3 May will be shown the yellow card.
But they won’t see their names scrawled in the referee’s notebook. Instead, Swindon’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP) will be handing out yellow cards to fans to mark the start of its campaign promoting a safe and trouble-free World Cup.
The cards will remind people of the need to behave responsibly during the tournament, particularly in licensed premises across the borough.
Right, STFC player Michael Smith, Jane Dudley of Swindon CSP and Insp Paul Saunders with the World Cup yellow cards
As well as listing England’s Group D fixtures, the card will warn that anyone committing offences in pubs and clubs could face a two-year ban from licensed premises and Swindon town centre.
Swindon CSP, Wiltshire Police and inSwindon have put together a plan, supported by Swindon Town Football Club, to address issues such as violence and excess drinking during the World Cup.
A poster campaign and using taxi marshals to ensure fans get home safely during England games are just some of the initiatives that will be used by partner agencies over the coming weeks.
Cheri Fayers, Anti-social Behaviour Manager for Swindon’s Community Safety Partnership, said: “The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting occasions in the world and we want everyone in Swindon to have a great time watching the action unfold.
“However, people also need to be aware that bad behaviour during the tournament will not be tolerated and there will be consequences to their actions.”
Inspector Adrian Burt from Wiltshire Police, said: “We want everyone to enjoy the World Cup tournament in safety, whether they are at home or out and about visiting licensed premises.
“We’ll be working very closely with our partners to encourage people to drink sensibly and show considerate behaviour to others over the coming weeks. Crime and anti-social behaviour, including incidents of domestic violence, will not be tolerated – we will be vigilant and incidents will be robustly dealt with, as we work to keep our communities safe.”
This is the second time the World Cup safety campaign has been used. It was first put together four years ago following the experiences of the 2006 World Cup, when police recorded large increases in violence, disorder and disturbances, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.