How do you keep fans from running onto the field? In the US we typically try and create barriers between the fans and the field. Sometimes they are structural, and sometimes they are of the “massive amount of security” kind. (Watch the video below of a dazed kid running out onto the field during the West Virginia/Marshall game earlier this year for an example.)
In the United Kingdom, they do have barriers and some security, but mostly they rely on penalties AFTER the fact. Like banning you FOR LIFE if you set foot on the grass. In some cases the Football Association will have you banned from any soccer field in the country–at any level–for a period of years. Even with those types of punishments, you still have guys like this idiot who not only ran onto the field, but went after an opposing player. To top things off, as he left the field, a second fan got into it with him and that guy got arrested (and possibly banned from the field) as well.
Here in the States, drunken fans who run onto the field will likely get their own reality show on FOX.
Here’s more from the Independent:
Millwall will ban for life the hooligan fan who chased Watford’s Lloyd Doyley around the pitch yesterday – while another Lions supporter has been arrested for attacking the pitch invader, writes Alistair Grant. The first fan, a member of the armed services, invaded The Den pitch and pursued the right-back Doyley, who ran in the opposite direction before the supporter was bundled off the pitch by a steward and Lions striker Neil Harris. The man then scuffled with security staff and other Millwall fans, including a 41-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of assault. Millwall said the first fan will be charged with entering the field of play and is set to be banned for life.
And the scene at the West Virginia/Marshall game: