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OPINION: ‘Imp Army’s’ friendly fire must be punished

It’s time for some football fans to grow up and stop embarrassing themselves every Saturday.

This weekend, Lincoln City’s ‘Imp Army’ travelled in great numbers and began their afternoon in Gloucestershire making tremendous noise and out-singing the home support. Their loyal fans had made the 260 mile round trip to brave Storm Brian’s pouring rain and gale-force wind as last year’s National League winners looked to earn a victory on the road. The Lincoln warm-ups were cheered on and when they took to the field for kick-off, a cacophony of noise enveloped Whaddon Road.

However, this support was ruined thirty minutes into the game.

Unintelligent, brainless actions of a few fans tarnished what was a great display of support.

The tone of chants in the away end changed and a more aggressive atmosphere began to develop, it seemed that the ‘Imp Army’ were having open revolt within their ranks. In-fighting amongst the fans alerted the attention of the stewards who attempted to intervene but were met with a wall of rage. Police officers were then called to intervene but the fans were in no mood to listen. Fans squared up to the officers who were dangerously outnumbered.

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The police managed to escort the main offenders out of the stand and it is believed that arrests were made, although these are unconfirmed reports.

This incident is another sad account of an embarrassing problem for football. What are these fans thinking? Would they square-up to police officers in any other situation? Why are they turning on fellow fans? Why are they wasting their Saturdays travelling hundreds of miles to have a fight and get removed?

I believe that these fans have no answer to any of these questions, I believe that their actions are completely thoughtless and that they have no care for absolutely anyone apart from themselves. Nobody wants a return to the hooliganism of the 1980’s and although this incident doesn’t take us back there, it doesn’t help with creating a positive image of football fans.

These fans must be punished and I fully advocate stadium bans in cases where fans are happy to turn up, fight and get kicked out. Not only are they a danger to themselves and those around them, they also ruin the game for the innocent fans around them. They are unfair to everyone else and their selfishness must be punished.

It is important to note that the majority of the 738 fans were great and behaved themselves, but the select few managed to ruin the reputation of football fans and the ‘Imp Army’ to everyone there to witness their idiocy.

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