The dangers of pyrotechnics at football matches

Tuesday 10 May 2022

On Saturday 14 May 2022, Wembley Stadium will open its doors to 90,000 spectators for the culmination of this season’s Emirates FA Cup competition, which started in August 2021 with 729 teams.

The competition is celebrating its 150th anniversary this season, and we look forward to welcoming Liverpool and Chelsea fans to Wembley Stadium for this showpiece and historic event.

The safety of the fans coming to Wembley Stadium this weekend is of paramount importance, and we take a number of steps before, during, and after the match, to ensure fans of all ages can enjoy the occasion in a safe environment.

In recent months, we have seen a rise in pyrotechnics, flares and smoke devices being brought to stadiums around the country.

It is important to highlight that these items are not only illegal inside a football stadium, but these prohibited items can also cause great harm to people. 

These pyrotechnics and flares can burn at up to 2,000°C and can cause significant injuries to carriers and fellow spectators. We have also seen a number of incidents that have resulted in people experiencing breathing difficulties, distress and discomfort. 

At a recent Emirates FA Cup Semi Final, a nine year-old child required medical assistance when he picked up a discarded flare, causing burns to his hand. We have also helped to provide medical support when parents have taken their children to first aid rooms with breathing difficulties as a result of fellow supporters using these devices. 

During the recent FA Cup Semi Finals there were four arrests made of spectators for being in possession of pyrotechnic devices. 

The potential injuries sustained as a result of someone using a pyrotechnic include:

Serious injuries, such as loss of limb or fingers
Severe burns, due to temperatures of up to 2,000°C
Breathing problems, due to smoke inhalation
Loss of hearing or sight, because of the explosive power


We would also like to take this opportunity to remind all spectators that persistent standing during a match at Wembley Stadium is strictly forbidden and may result in ejection from the ground. Persistent standing not only compromises crowd safety, but also affects the matchday experience of fellow spectators, especially children and elderly people. 

Liam Boylan, Director of Wembley Stadium, said: "The Emirates FA Cup Final is one of the showpiece events of the football calendar and we look forward to welcoming both Chelsea and Liverpool fans to Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

"Most importantly, we want everyone to enjoy a safe and memorable experience on the day. To help with this, we want to highlight the importance that anyone coming to Wembley Stadium this weekend must not bring pyrotechnics, flares or smoke devices with them.

"Not only are the items prohibited from the stadium, but they are also both illegal and extremely dangerous, and risk the safety of your fellow supporters and the players, as they can cause great harm and serious injury.

"Please come and enjoy this season’s Emirates FA Cup Final safely and have a brilliant and memorable day."

To view a list of Wembley Stadium's prohibited items, please click here

By FA Staff