Fan representatives have expressed concerns over Aston Villa’s announcement that supporters will be required to upload a photo to their account to gain entry to matches. They are worried the club might not lift this requirement after the pandemic is over.
The club has announced the new rule in preparation for the return of fans to football stadiums.
Amanda Jacks, from the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), said: “We have a long tradition of being against football fans carrying photo ID.”
“ID cards aren’t a thing in England anyway, so we don’t see why football fans should be asked to carry ID cards just because they are football fans”
The resistance against any sort of photo identification dates back to the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher’s government tried to impose a compulsory soccer ID card scheme. Following substantial criticism, this plan was eventually abandoned.
“To be fair, there is no evidence that they will carry this on after Covid, but equally, there is no evidence that they won’t,” Jacks said.
Jacks also said that the FSA would support sensible and pragmatic measures that would allow supporters into stadiums during times of Covid restrictions: “It’s important that football stadiums know that the people buying the tickets are the ones in the stadium.”
My Old Man Said, a popular Aston Villa blog and podcast, tweeted they were disappointed with the lack of fan consultation on the issue.
Birmingham Eastside has reached out to Aston Villa for comment, but they have so far declined to say anything on the issue.