New Zealand Rugby and Police warn against pitch invasions

Sep 8 • General News, International, The Rugby Championship • 2486 Views • Comments Off on New Zealand Rugby and Police warn against pitch invasions

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New Zealand Rugby and New Zealand Police have today warned rugby fans that pitch invasions will carry consequences.

A woman who invaded the pitch during the All Blacks v Argentina Test match in Napier on Saturday was banned from all events at McLean Park for two years after being warned by Police.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said while disappointed the woman managed to slip past security to get on to the field, he warned that pitch invaders did so at their own risk.

“We take the security of players and the public at Test matches very seriously and we do not take disorderly behaviour lightly.  While we would like a no tolerance approach to dealing with this sort of illegal behaviour, particularly pitch invasions, we respect that this is a decision for police to make and manage.

“However, it is important to remind people foolish enough to think about trying to take to the field – clothed or not – they are putting their own safety and that of the players at risk.

“As we do with all Test matches, we work closely with Police, other emergency services and venue staff to ensure that the public, teams and our own staff are able to get on with their respective jobs without being harmed.

“We continue to work closely with Wellington Police ahead of the Wellington Test match to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy a great All Blacks Test match experience, in a safe environment for all.”

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said Police staff would continue to keep a close watch on future matches, and warned that such incidents would be appropriately dealt with.

“This type of behaviour is not acceptable and there are potentially very serious consequences for anyone trying to take the field while a match is in progress. This can range from being trespassed from future matches up to hefty fines and court charges for serious offences.  Our priority is to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time without it being spoilt by pitch invaders, and we will continue to work with NZ Rugby and other agencies to ensure that happens.”

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