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UNACCEPTABLE: Fan given lifetime ban from Principality Stadium

UNACCEPTABLE: Fan given lifetime ban from Principality Stadium

PA - David Davies

 

The spectator who invaded the pitch during Wales’ 23-18 defeat to South Africa has been handed a lifetime ban from the Principality Stadium.

The Welsh Rugby Union and South Wales Police have identified the culprit, who ran onto the field and forced full-back Liam Williams to jump over him as he was detained by stadium staff.

Principality Stadium manager Mark Williams has warned that rugby’s traditional match atmosphere is “under threat” from the likes of pitch invaders, with the WRU ready to tighten up rules for spectators.

“Working collaboratively with South Wales Police we were able to identify the pitch invader who entered the field of play during Wales versus South Africa at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, November 6,” said Williams.

“The WRU, Principality Stadium and South Wales Police condemns any behaviour of this kind and the individual will be issued with a lifetime ban from buying any tickets from the WRU for rugby events held at the Principality Stadium in future.

“We were deeply disappointed to discover the individual is a register player and member of a rugby club; the WRU are currently investigating this as a code of conduct breach.

“I’d like to thank the pitch side stewards and on-pitch security team who acted swiftly, stopping the individual and escorting them from the field of play.

“For more than 20 years this stadium has been revered across the world for its unique atmosphere and game-day experience.

“It’s extremely disappointing to think that by recent events the traditional game-day experience is under threat, and that we might be forced to look at additional measures that will impact on the fan experience in future.”

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac was left to lament the regrettable pitch invasion after his side’s slender Springboks defeat.

Williams’ need to take evasive action to steer clear of the invader came during one of Wales’ most promising attacks against the reigning world champions.

Asked about the incident on Saturday, Pivac said: “You don’t want to see that in the game, it’s very disappointing that happened but there was nothing the officials could do about that.

“The players might have been distracted but there wasn’t much more the officials could have done. They’ve got to deal with that the way they did.”


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