Should the Premier League introduce netting at matches?

Two Footballs In Net

Last year's match between Manchester City and Manchester United prompted a debate over netting at stadium. Ali Babakarkhil takes a look and has his say.

Recent incidents during games in the English Premier League have some people asking for the introduction of netting in the EPL.

It has already been implemented in some leagues around the world but how would it fare in the Premier League?

The FA should stay clear from netting and here's why. Every football league has its share of hooliganism and idiots who can't control themselves during games.

The Manchester derby ended in controversy after Rio Ferdinand was struck by a coin by a Manchester city fan and was approached by a City fan towards the end of the game. Nine City fans were arrested and the match ended 3-2 to Manchester United.

Teams lose games but taking it out on the opposition and threatening the safety of players is unacceptable, however I believe netting is not the way to improve the situation.

The idea of 'caging' fans is one that will upset both the fans themselves and the players. Vincent Kompany spoke of his support against the introduction of netting: "I would definitely say we need action on prevention but keep treating fans as human beings and not animals that have to be behind cages," Kompany later told the BBC's Football Focus programme.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson also spoke of his displeasure of the idea of netting in stadiums: 'It's not a consistent thing. Stewarding is a better policy'.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers agreed with Kompany and Ferguson: "How can we punish them so they never get the chance to do it again, not punish the other 40, 50, 60 thousand people. They are there for the passion and love of the sport."

Whilst stewarding seems to be the easier option for all, there must be a reason why it hasn't put an end to these sort of incidents.

Racism, invading pitches, attacking/approaching players seem to be becoming the norm during games unfortunately and PFA chairman Gordon Taylor argues that netting is the only solution: "I think you've got to give consideration to possibly, as has been suggested, some netting in vulnerable areas, be it behind goals and round the corner flags".

Although the safety of players would all but be guaranteed through netting, it could possibly deter fans from coming to games due to the restricted viewing.

The football experience should not be altered or deterred in any way for the majority just because of a few lowlives. Stricter stewarding, more police and stricter punishments should be dealt to the guilty party instead. A win win for both the fans and players.

image: © stevendepolo

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