Soccer-More than 1,300 fans banned from World Cup by UK Home Office

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Stadium Preview - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - September 29, 2022 General view inside the stadium ahead of the World Cup REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

(Reuters) - More than 1,300 fans from England and Wales with banning orders will not be allowed to travel to Qatar for this year's World Cup, the UK's Home Office has said.

The new measures, which come into effect from Friday, prevent supporters with a history of soccer-related violence from making the trip to the sport's showpiece event, which kicks off on Nov. 20 and runs till Dec. 18.

"We will not let the behaviour of a minority of lawbreakers tarnish what will be an exciting tournament," said Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Last season witnessed a sharp rise in pitch invasions and crowd trouble across English soccer, with the Premier League introducing enhanced safety measures to control misbehaviour ahead of the new campaign.

The Home Office warned that fans flouting the rules could face six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

Any person who has "previously caused trouble and is deemed likely to do so again" will also be banned from travelling.

"Violence, abuse and disorder is not tolerated here, and this criminal behaviour will not be tolerated at the World Cup which is why we are taking this firm approach," added Braverman.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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