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Swansea and South Wales Police face backlash to ‘extreme’ rules for derby day

Fans have been informed they must only travel on supporters coaches and are not allowed to bring ANY food or drink to Cardiff vs. Swansea in September.

A derby day can be one of the highlights of the season for many fans. The heightened atmosphere, the opportunity to take the bragging rights over your bitter rivals. But for Swansea city fans wishing to attend their match against Cardiff City in September, this derby day may feel more like a trip to prison.

Swansea celebrate their last minute winner against Cardiff in April (Credit: Swansea City)

The Swans released ticketing information for their visit to the Welsh capital earlier this morning, and it has garnered some of the most negative reactions possible to such an announcement.

Away fans attending either leg of the South Wales derby are subjected to what is known as a ‘bubble fixture’, where fans wanting to attend must travel on allocated supporters coaches. This is not a new thing in football and certainly not for this derby.

The South Wales Derby has been a bubble fixture for 25 years, and is the only remaining bubble fixture of its kind in the UK. But while most police forces have looked to improve conditions for football fans in higher risk matches, South Wales Police have doubled down on their strict policing of the match.

Fans attending the fixture will be required to show ID to prove they are using a ticket purchased by them, and not on their behalf.

Swansea state that “There will be strict entry protocols in place on the day, including allocated arrival times”. This would suggest that some fans will be waiting on coaches for significantly longer than others, which leads on to the most controversial part of the announcement. No food or drink will be allowed on the coaches without a medical exemption.

The backlash

Many fans have been quick to point out how ridiculous this situation is. One fan stated “No food or drink allowed but asking fans to turn up hours in advance for a game 40 minutes away”, while another pointed out “No other walk of life in the UK where you can treat people like they do football fans”.

With such huge criticism of South Wales Police handling of this event and with the event still over two weeks away, whether such strict rules remain in place or whether authorities look to find a more balanced attitude that doesn’t treat fans like criminals remains to be seen.