More than 1,800 football fans were injured at Premier League and English Football League matches last season.
According to the new information released by Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), the data shows 155 fans need hospital treatment.
Injuries caused by slips, trips, and falls led to about one-third of all injuries stated but 30% of their causes are categorized as ‘unknown’.
Meanwhile, the injury figures broadly equal the last time the data was obtained in 2018-19 – before two seasons when football fans’ attendance was reduced during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
The injuries happening to spectators at the ground on matchday, according to the SGSA data released are classified as “eligible injuries”.
This “eligible injury”, however, includes more than 70 fans that were injured by footballs, with additional 100-plus spectators hurt while rejoicing after victory.
However, injuries are not to be recorded as ‘eligible’ and incorporated in SGSA data if caused by general ailment or pre-existing circumstances, or if liquor or intoxication are behind the harm.
Injuries to football players and club staff are also excluded from the data.
This means that while play was halted severally during matches last season as doctors attended to emergency cases in the stands, such events are not necessarily included in the numbers.
In March, Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) released new directions that will help stadium safety officers plan for emergency cases without disrupting and impacting the field of play, which had become a “recent trend”.
In the 2021/22 season, 1,841 eligible injuries among 34,317,374 spectators who went to games were recorded.
In addition, there were also extra 5,040 ineligible fans’ injuries same season.
This, however, is compared with 2,069 and 4,626 in 2018-19, among 38,073,988 spectators who came to watch football actions.
Moreover, the last campaign saw cuts and lacerations injury as the major type of injury documented, amounting to 28% of all injuries, while 34% were regarded as ‘other’ or ‘unknown’.
The figures include bruising (15%), strains and sprains (7%), burns or scalds (5%), fainting/dizziness (3%), head injury (3%), and dislocation (2%), as the other main causes of injuries sustained.
Likewise, Asthma/trouble breathing, cracked bones, and grazing each accounted for 1% of documented injuries.
Meanwhile, slips, trips and falls were reported to be the cause of 30% of damages, but about 5% were caused by invasion in 2021-22 season compared with 3% in 2018-19.
Another 30% of causes in this category were tagged as ‘unknown’.
Having released the injury figures, SGSA however, admonished clubs to provide more data on the causes of injuries to facilitate accurate injury reports.
SGSA said: “It would be helpful if clubs were able to provide more information on the cause of injuries.”
Other causes of injuries included celebrations (6%), being smashed or knocked accidentally (5%), slam by a football (4%), spilling hot liquid (4%), and seat injury (3%), while turnstiles, insect bites, crowd surges and flares/smoke/fire each accounted for 1% of the injury cases.
According to the football supporters association, accidents recorded at the turnstiles are meager and only a few serious cases have occurred, thanks to the safe football environment.
Football Supporters’ Association said: “Football grounds offer a safe environment for fans with more than 34 million passing through the turnstiles every year and very few serious, reported incidents,”
“There’s never any room for complacency and we’re in regular contact with the SGSA says the UK is one of the safest places to watch sport in the world.
“Of course, if supporters have specific safety concerns we’d encourage them to raise them with their club or, if appropriate, their local safety advisory group.”