DOZENS of people in Avon and Somerset will have to surrender their passports ahead of the European Football Championships.

Police are stepping up their preparations ahead of the competition and asking people subject to football banning orders (FBOs) to hand in their passports ahead of the deadline on June 14-15.

Failure to surrender their passport can lead to an arrest warrant being issued.

As well as this, specialist football officers will be working throughout the tournament, engaging with supporters and to put patrol plans in place.

"Across the force area, we have 42 people subject to FBOs, of which 33 are passport holders and will be required to surrender their passports and letters have already been sent to them to remind them of this," said a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police.

"The passports will remain with the police until after the last quarter-final match is played on Saturday, July 3.

"While some FBOs are issued for disorder at matches, we’d like to remind fans they can receive them for incidents committed away from stadiums.

"For example, anyone going to watch a match on a television at a public showing, such as a pub, who becomes embroiled in any form of antisocial or violent behaviour, could find themselves with a FBO. It also includes drink-driving or domestic abuse offences linked to football."

Fans will be allowed to attend matches, but capacity numbers will be limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Police have also seen an increase in flares and other pyrotechnics at football gatherings and many spectators have received life-changing injuries. They would like to remind people of the dangers and that you could be contravening the law by taking them to public arenas under Fireworks Regulations 2004.

Chief inspector Debbie Palmer-Lawrence added: “After a year of waiting for the tournament to take place, we hope it will be a successful one.

“We want fans to enjoy themselves but ask them to be mindful of their behaviour.

"We will not tolerate any football-related antisocial behaviour or violence and will deal robustly with such offenders.”

Euro 2020 was due to place last summer but was postponed due to Covid-19. For the first time the tournament is being held across 12 host cities, rather than by a single or joint-host countries, with matches across the continent, including in the UK at Glasgow’s Hampden Park and London’s Wembley Stadium.

The opening match of Euro 2020 will be held in Rome between Italy and Turkey on Friday, June 11, with England’s campaign kicking off in London against World Cup finalists Croatia two days later.

England’s three group stage games will all be played at Wembley but if they progress to the knockout stages their last-16 tie could be held outside of the UK. None of the quarter-final matches are due to be staged in this country, but the semi-finals and final will be played at Wembley in the week commencing Monday, July 5.