ALMOST 40 Wearside football fans will today have to hand over their passports to prevent them trying to see England vie for World Cup glory in Brazil.
A total of 38 Sunderland supporters are currently subject to banning orders, meaning that they are not allowed to attend matches at home or abroad.
They include Hendon man Liam Jones, given a three-year banning order after he was found guilty of abusing black footballer Romelu Lukaku at Sunderland’s game with West Bromwich Albion in November 2012.
Jones was spotted making offensive monkey gestures towards the striker.
As well as the banning order, Jones was handed an 18-month conditional discharge for that offence. Home Office statistics show that 58 Newcastle United and 52 Middlesbrough fans are also banned.
Nationally, about 2,000 fans have banning orders against them, preventing them from travelling to the tournament in South America this month.
Chief superintendent Rachel Barber, the officer leading the English police delegation in Brazil, said: “We are the subject of envy of some of our colleagues across the world for the legislation that we have in the UK.”
The 2014 World Cup begins on Thursday, June 12, with England’s first group game, against Italy in Manaus, following two days later, kicking off at 11pm.