Around the same time West Ham fans were causing chaos at the London Stadium there was another, much smaller, story unfolding at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Midway through the Premier League clash between hosts Huddersfield Town and Swansea City on Saturday afternoon, a 27-year-old mum was thrown out of the stadium while attending her very first match at the ground.
She has since been banned from returning.
The woman in question is Jessica Graves, who was watching the game with husband Jamie.
So, what on earth did she do wrong?
The reason she's been banned after her first match
The young mother was approached by stewards and asked to leave for drinking in the stands - even though neither she nor her husband were aware they were not permitted to do so.
Per the Huddersfield Examiner, Jessica was drinking a plastic bottle of lager purchased from the kiosk underneath one of the stands inside the ground when she was spotted and told to leave the stadium.
“I wasn’t hiding the drink, I had it in my hand in full view of the stewards and had carried it past stewards after I bought it,” she explained. “I was totally shocked, quite teary and embarrassed it happened in front of all those people,” she said. “One of the stewards just said ‘out’ and a man took away the bottle and held it up as if it was contaminated.”
Jessica believes the stewards enjoyed kicking her out of the stadium.
“It came across to me as a power thing,” she continued. “It was the highlight of their day.”
'It's put her off going to something like this again'
Her husband, meanwhile, believes the stewards inside the stadium could have handled the situation much better.
“My wife isn’t a violent or angry person and has been really upset by the way she was treated and spoken to as if she was a seasoned hooligan,” he said. “We were told (by stewards) that we are expected to read all information on the ticket, ground rules and look for signs.
“I know they are there but can you realistically say that anyone reads all of them? They pointed out one sign saying no drinking in sight of the pitch, at head height and on a temporary fence.
“I just don’t understand the need for what happened as a quick ‘can we take that off you madam’ would have been no problem. Now my wife has been upset and it has put her off going to something like this again.”
Jamie has since written to stadium bosses to complain but has been informed it’s unlikely that his request for a ticket refund will be granted.
What Huddersfield's safety officer has told the couple
Huddersfield’s safety officer John Robinson has told Jamie that drinking alcohol in view of the pitch at a football ground is a criminal offence.
He added the stadium was “obliged to implement a zero tolerance approach as to treat different fans by different standards would be both prejudicial and impossible for Safety Stewards to manage in a fair and reasonable way.”
Robinson also said that Jessica will be sent a letter “informing her that she is now excluded from attending future matches because of this but of course there is an appeal process available to her so if she does wish to come again we will make an appointment with the HTAFC Operations Director and myself to discuss the circumstances.”
Surely a ban is way too harsh in this case? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
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