Sunderland AFC step up security measures at Stadium of Light after Paris terror attacks

Stadium of Light
Stadium of Light
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Sunderland AFC is to step up security measures at the Stadium of Light in the wake of the recent Paris terror attacks.

The Black Cats have told supporters that "due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in" they will be rigorously applying rules around entering the Stadium of Light.

Fans are reminded that:

* Large bags and rucksacks will NOT be allowed into the stadium

* Small bags, including handbags, will be searched on entry to the ground

* Fans should give themselves extra time to get into the match due to enhanced safety measures

A club statement said: "Supporters attending games at the Stadium of Light are advised that, due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, Sunderland AFC will be rigorously applying the terms and conditions of entry to the stadium, as provided by the Premier League Ground Regulations.

"These regulations in place are to ensure the safety and security of everyone attending matches.

"Ground Regulation 6 specifies that the club can refuse entry to the stadium to anyone who does not consent to a search. Large bags and rucksacks will not be permitted to be brought in the ground under any circumstances, nor will supporters be permitted to store such items at the stadium.

"Small bags such as handbags will be allowed, however anyone carrying a bag is advised that it will be searched on entry.

"In relation to Ground Regulation 17.2, flasks, containers, bottles, cans and other such items are not permitted in the stadium. Anyone attempting to bring such items into the stadium will have them confiscated. The same protocols apply to the stadium’s Fan Zone area.

"The club is also advising supporters to arrive early for games, allowing additional time to enter the stadium, in light of the enhanced safety measures that will be in place."

Sunderland AFC’s head of safety Paul Weir added: “We would ask supporters to please take heed of the advice, which has been implemented to ensure the safety of everyone attending games at the Stadium of Light.

"We recognise that such measures may inconvenience some people, but safety will always be our number one priority. We would also ask supportters to show patience with stewards and safety officials as they conduct their duties.”

Meanwhile, the Premier League has announced the French national anthem will be played before all matches this weekend in remembrance for those affected by the terror attacks on Paris.

There are 72 French players at top-flight clubs, the biggest number from a single nationality after England, and a choral version of La Marseillaise will be played after the coin toss, with players from both teams joining officials in the centre circle facing the main stand.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "Given how close we are as well as the long-standing relationship that exists between the Premier League and France, playing La Marseillaise as an act of solidarity and remembrance is the right thing to do.

"We were all saddened and deeply shocked by the events in Paris last Friday, and the fact it was an attack on people enjoying their everyday freedoms like going to a bar, a concert or a football match resonates with football fans and the general public throughout the UK."